I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the thrill of making measurable passive income while fucking off instead of working.
It was 2008 and I had joined a start up called iThemes, one of the very first premium theme and plugin companies in WordPress. I was hired for my business knowledge and design talents, and at age 38, worked alongside of team members who were in their early 20s.
Talk about feeling outdated!
But the collaboration between the old school and new school ways of doing things were a large part for our incredible success. We dominated an entirely new market and achieved things no other WordPress company ever matched in my opinion.
We caught an incredible wave and surfed the hell out of it. And we made a hell of a lot of money doing it. 💵
When I started, iThemes was already doing a good job of selling WordPress themes, but it was only a trickle of sales with a high support cost.
We were one of two companies focused on premium (paid) themes so the competition at that time was minimal. We had great designs and a support library, but at $29–$49 per theme it was not profitable.
So I challenged our founder to raise the price to $79 per theme.
This was more than our competitor, and his argument was we’d lose sales and customers by increasing the price, but I was adamant my strategy would work because we were trying to build a premium brand.
Besides, offering free support was eating us alive.
My argument was that even if we lost half our customers, we’d still be more profitable AND have less support problems to deal with. Plus it would give us time to focus on bolstering our offerings.
Not only did my plan work — our sales exploded!
I remember us going out to purchase white folding tables and rolling chairs to furnish our little startup office, and as we did, our email would continually notify us of new sales.
And when we got back to the office to enjoy some beer while setting up our new stuff for hours, the passive income streamed in even though we weren’t working on the business.
That was my lightbulb moment about mailbox money.
Eventually we designed the most customizable WordPress theme at the time and sold it for $199 — the highest cost for any theme.
We created the first ever training program for designers, developers, and freelancers wanting to make money with WordPress.
We developed the first full suite of valuable WordPress plugins to help with security, backups, and other critical needs.
We learned how to grow our business by offering more resources while reducing our involvement in support and other time sucking efforts.
And over a decade later iThemes was acquired because it was so successful at generating recurring revenue.
Many of the business lessons I learned back then are still applicable today.
The technology has changed, as well as the marketplace or trends, but the opportunity to make money online from an eCommerce business is as strong as ever — if you want it bad enough.
As I relaunch my own online ventures, I’m reminded of the past successes and achievements I had with iThemes and beyond. These experiences will be applied to everything going forward.
It’s an incredible feeling to see money come in while you’re fucking off.
Working less. Earning more. Enjoying life.
This should be the goal of any soloprenuer or digital creator.
Now it’s your turn to experience it.
Are you ready for it?