In the year In 2009, Amy Porterfield was Director of Content Development at Anthony (Tony) Robbins Companies. Between regular paychecks, paid vacations, and promotions, they like the job well. But when she was offered the opportunity to meet people building online businesses, she realized, “I want freedom.” Just like they do, “I wanted to work when I wanted to work, where I wanted to work, how I wanted to work.”
Porterfield quit her job that year to start a social networking business and eventually started creating online courses. In the year In 2019, she launched a digital course academy that teaches users how to build an online course business.
“I’ve helped over 50,000 students,” she says, making tens of millions of dollars. She also launched a simple podcast about online marketing, which has been downloaded nearly 50 million times, according to her site.
Porterfield, 46, and based in Nashville, Tennessee, recently debuted her book, “Two Weeks’ Notice: Find the Courage to Quit Your Job, Make More Money, Work Where You Want, and Change the World.” They want to start their own business from 9 to 5.
Here’s how she built her own successful business as an entrepreneur.
When Porterfield set out to find a business, she began looking for direction. She asked herself, “What am I good at? Where did I get results? What do people always call me?” she says.
Once she got the hang of social media, Porterfield developed a four-part “runway,” or 9-to-5 exit strategy.
- “I had to pick a day to leave.” she says. “I know I’ll never leave if I don’t pick an exit date.” She decided on six months and put it on a post-it note on the mirror where she could see it every day.
- “I had to look at my finances.” she says. She calculated how much money she would need to pay all her bills, and then calculated how many jobs she would need to take on in the new business to cover her expenses.
- “I made sure I only told three people.” She says: Her husband, mother and best friend. “When you tell a lot of people about your dreams, they tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t.”
- Finally, still at her day job, she dove in. She learned about her new job through things like podcasts, books, or calling anyone who could help. Then she went to the real work in the mornings and weekends “just to get my feet wet and bring in some money,” she says. She wanted to test the viability of the business.
“When I got to six months, I didn’t have as much money in the bank as I wanted. I was scared and I didn’t know how to do this job, so I left,” she said. “I wanted to be committed to myself.”
While managing her social media career, Porterfield began trying another way to help people manage their own — she created a course that teaches how to do it.
She spent about $3,000 on the first course and sold it for $297. “And at the end of my little job, I spent $267,” she says, not even enough to cover a room. “I cried for a whole week,” she says. Finally, she went back to the drawing board and started a second course, then a third. She continued to build her show and in 2010 She landed her first social media gig in 2011.
After nine years of creating her digital courses, she realized that one thing people were asking was: “How are you creating those digital courses?” she says. That’s when she had the idea for a digital course academy that includes video lessons, PDF instructions, and live Q&A.
“It was the biggest launch I’ve ever done. It was the best feedback I got. And the testimonials started rolling in.” She has been selling for under $2,000 and teaching ever since.
When it comes to her latest work, Porterfield hopes to help people leave the 9-to-5 and build their own runway to start a business. “In the beginning, I wanted to write a book that I didn’t have when I started,” she says.
She tells people that as they come up with their exit plan, every step of the way, as I prepare to leave my 9-to-5 job, I feel all the doubts, the fears, all of it. Trembling,” she says. So it’s okay for them to feel it, too.
Plus, she reminds people that she messed up a lot along the way. But those messes were ultimately opportunities. “What is the lesson here? What do I need to learn and what can I do better?” They gave her a chance to say.
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