This has to be one of the most inspirational and informative interviews I’ve done yet. This husband and wife duo set out to earn $100,000 in one year to replace a ‘regular’ income when they learned their first child was on the way. And guess what…they did it! Steve of My Wife Quit Her Day Job shares how they did it and how you can too!
In case some people don’t know about your website and your wife’s business, would you mind giving them a little peek into what the two of you do?
My wife and I run an online store that mainly sells wedding handkerchiefs and other wedding linens online. We started our business because my wife wanted to quit her job when she became pregnant with our first child. Since an online store can be run entirely from home (unlike a traditional brick and mortar store), it has allowed us to supplant my wife’s income while allowing her to take care of the kiddos at home.
Even though things started out slowly with our business, we managed to make over 100K in profit in the span of a year. Today, my wife spends about 2-3 hours per day on the business and profits have grown in the double and triple digits for the last 4 years.
Because our online store has been so successful, I decided to start a blog called www.MyWifeQuitHerJob.com which describes everything we had to go through in order to start our business. We received so many questions from friends about our success that it made sense to document our experiences online.
This past year, I also launched a full blown course on how to start an online store. The course, which can be found at www.profitableonlinestore.com, teaches you everything you need to know in order to run a successful e-commerce store.
You and your wife made a plan after you learned you were going to have your first child to make $100,000 in12 months to replace her lost income when she left her job to take care of the baby. How helpful was your plan (in terms of having something year-long to look at and stick to) and did you stick to it the entire time?
To be honest, making a six figure profit seemed like a stretch goal at the time. In other words, I didn’t think it would happen. The main thing that motivated the both of us was the limited time frame we had to take action.
My wife used to make a six figure salary at a fortune 500 company. Every time we worked on our online store, in the back of our minds we always thought to ourselves, “Oh crap, in a year we are going to be barely scraping by unless we make this business a success.” Because we were under a time crunch, we were able to push through and not slack off. While we did have an initial plan, everything went out the window as soon as we launched.
Basically, nothing went smoothly and we had to make subtle adjustments practically every step of the way. For example, initially I had this grand plan of funneling Ebay customers to our shop by posting our store URL on our auctions. Turns out that this is against Ebay’s terms of service and our account was promptly banned. Getting banned from Ebay was just a small illustration of the major learning curve that we had in terms of getting traffic to the website and ultimately converting customers into sales.
What made you decide to start a blog that not only chronicles your business successes and obstacles but also helps other entrepreneurs do what you and your wife did?
Starting our online store was such a fulfilling process for my wife and I that we wanted to share our story with other people. Also, all of my friends were having kids at the same time and they all wanted to stay home as well. So instead of answering the same questions 20 or 30 times, it was much easier to write everything down. Today, I have a lot of fun teaching my Create A Profitable Online Store class because I know that I’m helping other people live a better lifestyle and be their own boss.
Where did you learn all of web commerce skills? Was it self-taught or did you have a few key books and resources that really helped?
Almost everything was self-taught which made things a major struggle in the beginning. The books that helped me out the most were these O’Reilly books I purchased on php, html and css. In terms of the business side of things, my wife already had great taste in products and aesthetics. It also helped that she’s a master of customer service which has allowed our store to grow quickly via word of mouth.
Everything about internet marketing and sales I learned from various blogs. GetElastic is one of my favorite e-commerce blogs because they always provide excellent advice and tips that the larger online stores use. Outside of that, all of my knowledge has been gained through trial and error and finding out what works and what doesn’t.
I know you and your wife have faced several challenges and obstacles since you made the big plan. What helped you keep going through it all?
The main thing that carried us through the hard times with our business were our kids. My wife and I are firm believers in having at least one parent stay at home with the kids especially when they are young. So basically, if we couldn’t make this business happen, we were going to have to find some other way to make money.
The other key was keeping an open mind and asking other people for help when needed. Throughout the course of starting our business, I’ve become a lot less stubborn and more open to trying new things. It has also helped to have my wife by my side every step of the way. While we’ve had our fair share of fights due to the business, there’s no one else I’d rather work with.
Don’t forget to check out Steve’s blog for more advice on creating an amazing online business.