In 2012, Felicia Spahr was living with her now-fiancé’s parents in the Bay Area, working at an ad agency, when she realised she wanted to start her own business.
“I quit my job and leapt in,” she remembers. “I didn’t have a plan.”
She first looked into teaching others how to improve their creative writing — an idea that quickly fizzled out.
“I made like $US600 doing that,” she says, “I was completely living off my savings. At that point, I was like ‘I need help.'”
She started taking on copywriting work, and enrolled in Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch course in the spring of 2014 for guidance on how to pursue another business, this time helping other women get started in copywriting.
“What happened,” Spahr remembers, “was I found that for so many women I coached, it wasn’t that they didn’t understand the material. It was that personal things were holding them back. I realised I enjoyed solving these complex psychological puzzles that, to me, were easy to solve.”
She started coaching clients on leadership and charisma, qualities that Spahr says she was lucky enough to come by naturally. “I didn’t realise these aren’t things that are taught, and things that other people really struggle with. It started to organically unfold — it wasn’t so much marketing other people as it was helping them market themselves and send their message and their best selves to world.”
At first, she tried to both maintain her copywriting business and begin her leadership coaching. While she found that approach lucrative — in fact, she was able to bring in $US50,000 in seven months of doing both — she found that it wasn’t sustainable.
She realised in December 2014 that she couldn’t effectively split herself between the two businesses — she had to choose, and she chose leadership coaching.
Now, her business has two main elements: one-on-one coaching, for which she charges $US2,500 for eight weeks or $US9,000 for six months; and a five-hour online course for $US97 that she offers exclusively to her mailing list.
She works at least 30 hours a week, and usually brings in $US8,000-$US10,0000 a month.
Spahr says that after watching family and friends struggle with money, she finds the general feeling of security her business has brought her to be huge. She now lives with her fiancé in the Haight/Ashbury neighbourhood of San Francisco. “I love being able to live in one of the best cities in the world — being able to just afford to live here and not worry about it means a lot to me,” she says.
Plus, she’s able to employ an assistant, “which lets me focus on working with incredible clients and allows me to keep developing new courses and new things,” she enthuses, including her book, “Selling for Success: The Ultimate Guide to Developing a ‘Sales’ Mindset, Selling in a Strategic Way, and Making The Impact You Want Your Life to Have,” and her website, Instantly Irresistible.
What does she advise fellow entrepreneurs? “I think the most important aspect is committing to the idea that you want to do something like this, and seeking out the help you’d need in order to do it,” Spahr shares. “In my mind, it was ‘I’m going to succeed or I’m going to die,’ and I think that contributed quite a bit to my success.”
Do you have a lucrative side gig, a cool career path, or a unique approach to earning money? Email lkane[at]businessinsider[dot]com.