About This Episode
Today's guest is Darlene Smith, a hairstylist. She also got involved in the promotions field recently and loves it. But she's been working seventy-hour weeks for a while now and wants to find ways to create passive revenue streams. Her initial goal is small: Make an extra $200-$400 per week. How can she get there?
During our call, we talk about Darlene's passion for selling physical goods and how she might be able to turn her knowledge into an online course. I give her some tools for creating and uploading her course, and Darlene creates an action-plan going forward.
What You'll Learn:
Learn core concepts for translating your personal skillset into a passive income revenue stream with huge earning potential.
AskPat 1017 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 1017 of AskPat 2.0. This is the show where I coach entrepreneurs like you. You have pain or a problem—call in, I'm going to help you out. We talk it through for about a half hour.
Today, we're talking with Darlene Smith who filled out an application at AskPat.com. Guess what? If you want to get coached by me for free in exchange for having it be public here so everybody else can learn at the same time—that's what we do here—you can go to AskPat.com and just hit the “Apply for Coaching” button right there in the middle of that page, fill out the application. I cannot possibly select everybody, but I may select you, and I'd love to potentially feature you here, just like I'm about to feature Darlene.
Darlene is a hairstylist and somebody who loves to sell. She's good at selling, but she doesn't know what to sell. We're going to talk about how she can make an extra $200 to $400 per week, and you'll hear her hit a major breakthrough right in the middle of the episode.
There's no missing it for sure, but before we get to Darlene's episode here, I do want to chat about, really quickly, the sponsor of AskPat and just thank, once again, FreshBooks.com for being amazing in terms of a product that we can all use to help us better manage our finances, which basically means getting rid of headaches and stress, but also for setting up invoices. If you do any billing of any kind, you have clients, you're a coach perhaps or maybe you consult other companies or people, then you should be using billing software from FreshBooks because literally, in less than thirty seconds, you can create a professional-looking invoice that you could send out, you can get paid quicker because of that. But also, not only do they help you keep track of who has yet to pay you, which is obviously handy, but they help you keep track of who has yet to even open that invoice once you send it. You can follow up properly if people maybe miss it in their email or whatever. You can follow up, you can get paid even sooner.
It's a great product with a great team behind it. They just upgraded their look. It's even easier to use than it was before. If you want to check it out for thirty days for free, this is a tool that I use for bookkeeping as well, you can go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and just make sure you enter, when it says “How did you hear about us?”, just enter “Ask Pat”. They'll know and we'll all be happy. Go ahead and check that out: FreshBooks.com/askpat. Thank you again for being here, make sure you subscribe if you haven't already and sit back, relax, this is Darlene Smith. We're going to help her out.
Hey Darlene, thank you for being here on Ask Pat 2.0. How are you doing today?
Darlene Smith: I am doing wonderful. How are you doing?
Pat Flynn: I'm doing excellent. I want to thank you again for volunteering to having me coach you. I'd just like to dive right in and ask you, what's on your mind Darlene?
Darlene Smith: Okay. Alright. That sounds wonderful.
What is on my mind is a passive revenue income stream. I have not really been able to figure out what it is that I need to do, but I'm just in a point in my life where I don't want to be working seventy hours a week at my job.
Pat Flynn: Seventy hours, wow.
Darlene Smith: Yeah. This is a little background of what I've got going on here, career-wise. For many years, I have worked as a licensed cosmetologist or hairstylist. I'm licensed currently in three states. I'm originally from Florida, so the majority of my career was there. Then, I lived in Texas for a little bit, and now I'm in Utah. Even though, doing hair, it's service, it's something people always need, it's just very rough on the body. It takes a lot of time. Right now, I just do it extremely part-time. That's one of my careers.
I took a break for a little bit for about eight months. I lived in Charleston, South Carolina and I got into hospitality, which I love and it's great. Now, that I'm back here in Utah, I'm full-time in hospitality. I'm working for two properties right now.
The other thing that I do I got into about a couple years ago: I work as a promoter or brand ambassador. It's given me opportunities to do such things as like, couple weeks ago I went to the Justin Timberlake concert because I worked it.
Pat Flynn: What? Jealous.
Darlene Smith: Yeah. I literally worked the concert. I did a promotion for a brand and after I had my shift, they handed us floor tickets. That happens to me often. That's what I love about promoting. I don't mind doing that and I love doing, of course, hospitality, but I can't keep working sixty, seventy hours a week jobs, and I'm just not able to get to where I want to be in life.
A passive revenue stream will do a couple things for me. It will basically allow me to make money while I'm working and while I'm sleeping. Also, it'll allow me some flexibility in my life to where I don't have to put in so many actual hours where I'm actually doing the work, but I know I have to do work in the background.
For right now, my goals are a little small right now. I would like to be able to at least make an extra $200 to $300 a week. As far as investment on my part, I need something where I don't have so much of an investment. I'm slightly risk-averse because I'm a little older now and I really don't have the ability to put a lot into something. That's part of what I'm looking for, is a low startup cost that's going to bring me at least $200 to $300 a week and eventually go up from there.
Also, a little background of some revenue streaming that I've done before is selling online. I love selling online. I've sold on eBay. I've sold on all the different apps and whatnot, but most of my high-ticket items I've sold by now. I don't really have much to sell as far as things that will actually make me money, but I am open to ideas with that because I do enjoy selling and I do like listing things and putting them up there and getting them sold and going to the post office and all that. That's one thing.
Then, as far as different qualities of things that I like to do, I love doing research, like getting online, googling stuff and just finding information. I don't know if I can do that. Another thing that I enjoy is journaling. One of my friends told me I should blog, but I just don't know, with all the different interests that I have, where to put all of this energy.
Pat Flynn: Yeah.
Darlene Smith: Make sense?
Pat Flynn: Yeah, you're suffering what a lot of us entrepreneurs suffer from. That is, there's just so many amazing opportunities out there.
Darlene Smith: Yes.
Pat Flynn: We have a lot of skills that we can offer. We just don't know, where do we put our energy because as you likely know, if you put your energy into a lot of things, nothing is going to have that opportunity to give you really what you're looking for, which is—I'm so thankful you came in without me even asking with a very specific goal. That tells us a lot about, “Here's what needs to happen”, because a lot of people, they go, “I want passive income” and they say in their heads, “I want to make a million dollars.” We dive into that and they don't actually need that. They just kind of assumed that they need that. You came in with very clear, specific goals which, everybody listening, you need those clear specific goals because $200 to $300 a week is a lot different in terms of what to do versus $1,000 to $2,000 a week or $10,000 a week. This is great. Plus, once you get to that $200 to $300 a week, you can likely, if you're doing this online, you can begin to scale that. Then it can turn into $400 to $600 to $800 to $1,000. We can start there.
I love that you also mentioned a lot of the things you enjoy. The fact that you enjoy selling is going to help you stand out from a lot of people, including myself because I didn't like to sell at all. It didn't happen until maybe eight to ten years into my business career that I realized that selling was an amazing skill that you need. If you are already enjoying that, that is fantastic.
Now, I would love to just ask you really quick, if you could snap your fingers right now and you were making $200 to $400 a week in any realm of what it is you're interested in right now, but only one, you can only pick one, what would that be? What would you be doing or what industry would you be in?
Darlene Smith: You mean as far as my passive income?
Pat Flynn: Correct.
Darlene Smith: This is not when I'm working, this is like when I'm sleeping—sleeping money?
Pat Flynn: Correct.
Darlene Smith: I would have to say selling. I love selling. I know I told you a little bit about things I've sold—like when I moved I pretty much sold all of my furniture, everything that I had to leave from Florida when I first moved. I've even sold things for friends. I got so good at it I said, “Hey, can we do some kind of arrangement where I can take 10 percent, blah, blah, blah,” but high-end things. I'm much better—little knick knacks, little kitschy things, I'm not so good at moving those, but if you give me a rug or a TV or a piece of furniture, I can move that thing. It's just getting that access to those high-end items to be able to sell them. Yes, selling. I love selling.
Pat Flynn: Selling actual physical goods is what you were doing.
Darlene Smith: Actual physical goods, versus services and things like that.
As a hairstylist, of course, I would sell services, but interestingly enough, I would win awards for selling retail. I wasn't competing, I was just doing my job and next thing I know, I come into to work and like, “Oh, yeah, you're the number one sales and blah, blah, blah, blah.” I'm like, “I was just working.”
Yes products, items. That's something I love selling. I feel like that would be something that I could do while pretty much, it would be basically money that I'm making while I'm sleeping and while I'm working, but then the challenge is getting those items and then storage. I'm just in a small one-bedroom apartment. Of course, I'm starting over. I'm just now really starting to get things furnished and getting little decorations here and there. I don't want to have all that stuff here at home, but I did hear about this thing called drop-shipping. I don't know a whole lot about it, but maybe that might be something? I don't know.
Pat Flynn: Maybe. Drop-shipping is when you sell something, but you don't have it yourself. You work through a company that then discovers you've sold this product, and now they just need an address for you to send to them so that they can ship it for you. Also, Amazon, they hold a lot of inventory as well that a lot of people use for the delivery of certain products. They don't ever have to hold those things, which is really cool.
Now, when it comes to selling, had you ever thought about selling, and I'm not saying you should do this, I'm just opening up another opportunity and that is: Information. Have you ever thought about selling something like a course or an ebook or something like that about a skill that you have? Does that sound cool or not cool?
Darlene Smith: The thing is this, I have a lot of knowledge, especially in my field as a hair stylist. I pretty much could consider all of my training and certifications would be equal to that of a doctorate degree in any other field, but it's a skill. It's a trade. The thing that I noticed when it comes to the cosmetology or hairstyling field: Even if you have all of this training, the market will dictate the price.
One of the things that I noticed, specifically about being here in Utah, that schooling, education, is a business. We have some of the top schools like the Paul Mitchell schools. They pretty much were founded here and they stay busy. They probably get twenty grand a pop from students. Now, when I was in school, I went to a skill center while I was still in high school so it was free. The only thing I had to pay for were little things here and there. Yeah, that could be an idea because I do feel like my, I guess, knowledge is going to waste in a way because I'm not doing hair full-time right now. I'm just burned out, but no, I haven't really thought about doing that.
Pat Flynn: The reason I share that is because when you create something digital, it can just be sold again, and again, and again, and again.
Darlene Smith: Oh, okay.
Pat Flynn: You don't need any storage of any kind. If you're telling me you have a doctorate-degree's worth of information in you and there are likely people who want to be in that position to then get hired—people pay to have the ability to make more money. If, for example, you teach them how to do your thing, they can have the knowledge to then make more money.
The reason I'm going down this route is because information that helps people make more money . . . When I started out, I sold information about helping people pass an exam in the architecture industry. Of course, what I do now in Smart Passive Income is I'm helping people build businesses so that they can make more money too, but with the architecture stuff, when people would pass that exam, they could go to their boss and say, “Hey, I passed this exam. I deserve a raise or I deserve a promotion.” There's a very clear value exchange there. If you learn this info, then you can essentially get this money back that you're paying for it and more.
The struggle with a lot of people is they have this information and the skillset, but they don't want to sell it and they're not good at selling. Perhaps you combine your passion for selling with this passion that you've had and all the experience that you've had to help others be able to essentially do that work that you're tired of doing. You know you have this info now, you go and work and you make your living doing it. “I'm retired, essentially, from the hairstyling myself, but I want to help others get down that route too.” If, just hypothetically you became known as a person who was helping teach others how to do this online, a year from now, in your head, how does that feel? Does that feel weird? Would you be happy with that? Would you not want to go down that route?
Darlene Smith: I'm open to it because I agree with you as far as you saying I have all this information and it's just kind of sitting here. It's like I only pull it out every now and then. I still have, even though I'm not out there, I'm not on social media, anything like that—people still find me. I still have people that text me, they're like, “Hey, can you do this? Can you do that?” Now, when I do it, I'm just only high-end. I'll come in, I'll do something like hair extensions, wigs, things like that, things that are a higher ticket, but I don't really want to do haircuts. I don't really want to do blowouts, things like that.
I never thought about that. Actually, me and a friend of mine, we were talking the other day. He said, “You should start teaching at the school, teaching at the Paul Mitchell school, blah, blah, blah.” Yeah, that sounds cool and fine and dandy, but teaching as a cosmetologist doesn't pay that much. It's like, I don't want to do that. If I'm going to get paid that type of money, I might as well do something different. You know what I mean?
Pat Flynn: I would imagine that if you taught at Paul Mitchell, for example, you might get paid a teacher's salary essentially.
Darlene Smith: Yeah. I've done research on it and yeah, it's a little low-ball for me, but I like the idea about selling a course, because I've thought about times where I've spent money on those courses. I've gone to, I've had many a times where I've gone to the—there are these big hair shows, industry shows, and I've paid hundreds of dollars, even sometimes thousands of dollars for someone to educate and train me. I thought about that too, maybe working with a company and training people. For example, training people how to work with texture, because here in Utah it's not very diverse and so the challenge is sometimes, and I even experienced it myself too being a woman of color, it's harder to find people to do your hair because you have texture. I could take that skill, which is a rarity out here, and train people to do that.
Pat Flynn: You're coming up with this on your own. I love that.
Darlene Smith: Oh my goodness, I never thought about doing that. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Here's the thing. What also impresses me about you, Darlene, is you're not just like, “Alright, I'm going to go teach hairstyle online.” You're going already into a specialty that you have. That's where I wanted to take you. I was like, “Okay, tell me about some of the things that are very unique to what you know in your area,” and you just literally told me that.
It reminds me of—there's a friend of mine, his name is David Siteman Garland; he teaches people how to build online courses. He says one of his most successful students is a woman who teaches how to create Russian eyelash extensions. I have no idea even what Russian eyelash extensions are, but she just teaches other cosmetologists that specific skill. She's literally making six figures a year doing that.
Let's break this down by math really quick as we finish up, because I like where your head is at now. This is the most passive way to do it because you could sell hard goods, but then you'd always have to continue to find those hard goods. Although that can be passive, because then you can say, “Okay, first week of the month, I'm going to find all this stuff. Second week of the month, I'm going to list all this stuff. Then, third and fourth week, it's passive.” Then, you have to go through the cycle again, versus, “Let me just create this thing and maybe find one person every week to buy my $200 course. Now I have $200 every week by having just one person who would understand how much this new skill would allow them to have more money coming their way. Even if they are already a hairstylist, they can now unlock the skill, get a raise at their job, get more tips because they know this skill now.” Yeah, that's pretty cool Darlene.
Darlene Smith: Wow. Thanks Pat. I never even knew that . . . I am just totally blindsided here. I would've never thought of selling my knowledge. It's always like, “Oh, okay, I have all this information, blah, blah, blah, blah,” and I put it out there. Even sometimes during my consultations with clients, because sometimes they want to know why a price is a certain way and I said, “Oh, okay. I'm trained in this. I'm trained in that and blah, blah, blah, blah and able to do this and do that.” They're like, “Oh, okay. That's why that is that cost.”
Pat Flynn: Yeah. It's cool.
Darlene Smith: Yeah. There's been opportunities that I've had—I've actually worked for some top salons here in the state. One of the things that I brought to the table was that ability to be multi-cultural, that ability to be able to work with different textures. It's very rare because usually with most hairstylists, they have a few things that they can do, but I have quite a bit of different things that I can do as far as talents and skillsets.
That actually separated me because I've seen, like one salon I worked for, they're very well-known here, and I've seen people come in and out of there five, six, seven times. I walked in one time and they had me come back and they hired me. I didn't even have a Utah cosmetology license at the time, but just because I had that resume they said, “Hey, go get your license. Once you get your license here, come back and see us and we have a job for you.” Just like that. It wasn't even an official interview.
Yeah, I like that Pat. Thank you for opening up my eyes to that.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, of course.
Darlene Smith: Because here it is again. We have schools where they're making at least $20,000 per student for them to learn to be a hairstylist. That's the going rate now. I think there's some that are like $30,000, like Aveda. Yeah, I think they're like $30,000.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, and plus you have this amazing personality. You'd probably be able to find a lot of people who would want to learn from you more than one of these schools that they pay a lot of money for. Not just the money—it's who they're learning from.
I would challenge you just to take it one step at a time as you move forward. If this were easy, what would it look like? Just make it simple. You might want to just start out by trying to find one person and turning that, those lessons that you give this one person—you could film it or whatever and package it, put it online and once it's done, it's done. Then, you can do what you love, which is selling it. You sell that thing and you can start to grow it over time. There you go.
Darlene Smith: Cool. Do you think I should put it on YouTube, like do this and film it and put it on YouTube? Is that what I should do?
Pat Flynn: You can put parts of it on YouTube. That's a great way to get known for it, but if you already have connections with people who would want this, you don't necessarily need to start on YouTube. What I would recommend is using a tool like Teachable. If you look up Teachable.com, this is a really simple platform where, when you get videos, you literally just upload them into lessons and modules. Module One: Introduction to Textures. Here's what you need to know. Here's Lesson One, Lesson Two. Module Two is how to work with this kind of hair. Here's Lesson One, Lesson Two, Lesson Three. Module Three is this kind of . . . Then, when people get in, they're like, “Man, this is like a school. This is a school. This is high value. I'm seeing Darlene on video here. Totally worth money. I'm going to share this with my friends.” [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and an affiliate for Teachable.]
From there, you can add new courses. That's the other thing. After people complete that, you can be like, “Okay, what do you want to learn next? I'm going to collect all the information from my customers and see what course they want next.” Then, you can teach hair extensions or whatever it is they're looking for. Then, you don't have to guess anymore after you get that initial set, but it's going to be hard to get started.
Then, the passive part comes later. It's going to be very active at first: You can't just snap your fingers and make passive income. You need to create this thing first, but then over time that thing can begin to pay you back over time.
Darlene Smith: Okay, that sounds good.
Pat Flynn: Cool, Darlene. We'll check in with you in the future and see how you're going. Darlene, if you have any small questions along the way, just feel free to reach out to me. I'd love to see this work for you, but any final words for everybody listening out there in terms of what you've learned and major breakthroughs?
Darlene Smith: My final words are this, and I happened to come across a book, and I'm sure you're familiar with it: It's called Deep Work by Cal Newport.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, it's Cal Newport. Mm-hmm.
Darlene Smith: I haven't read the book, but I've come across notes. He always talks about essentially doubling down on what you already know. That totally might fly over most people's head. Especially as creatives. Creatives, we tend to be more free spirited and not so high on the logical side.
Pat Flynn: True.
Darlene Smith: Sometimes the answer is right in front of your face. My final word is, look at the skills that you already have, dig into that and figure out how you can capitalize and make money on that, even if that means that you're doing the skill differently. For me, I'll be doing the skill differently. I'll be teaching instead of being behind the chair and I like that.
Pat Flynn: You're qualified to do that. Darlene, amazingly put. Thank you so much and good luck to you.
Darlene Smith: Okay. Thanks, Pat. Take care.
Pat Flynn: Alright. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Darlene Smith. Darlene, thank you so much for taking the time for being on here and being up front with what you knew and what you didn't know. Hopefully you enjoyed that breakthrough and we can look forward to seeing some progress from you in the future.
The biggest thing now, this is for everybody: Whenever you go somewhere to learn, whether you're learning through listening to a podcast, watching a YouTube video, or at a conference, or reading a blog post, whatever, you want to make sure that you always start to take action. Take even just one nugget of information and start to implement that, the one that you feel is going to make the biggest impact, that first domino in that domino effect that hopefully you're creating for your business.
Thanks again Darlene. Thank you to all of you who are listening. If you want to make sure you subscribe to this channel, all you have to do is look at your device and hit “subscribe”. It's as easy as that. Just make sure you do that. If you have time, leave a review for the show. People love to read reviews before they subscribe. You can help out the show, get more listeners and support the show that way. Leave a quick review on iTunes. Doesn't matter where you're listening, but a review on iTunes would be super helpful.
Then finally, a thank you once again to FreshBooks for being awesome and sponsoring this show. You can go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, so they know you came from here.
Then, also, I want to give a big huge shoutout to ConvertKit for being an amazing email service provider. They aren't a sponsor of the show. I just want to give them a shoutout because they're great and I recommend you check them out too. If you're somebody who is looking to start a business and get up and running on email, I'd recommend ConvertKit. They are a company that I'm an advisor for now because I love them so much. I'm also an affiliate for the company. If you go through this link, not only will I get paid a small commission as a result, but you will also get a forty-five day free trial, which isn't available anywhere else. It's not available anywhere else. You can go check it out if you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/convertkit45. [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
Cheers. Thanks so much, we'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
AskPat listeners get a thirty-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.