trading dollars for hours

The Problem With Trading Dollars for Hours

When I first decided I wanted to start my own business and “work for myself” about 10 years ago, I really had no idea what that entailed.

My first foray into the world of owning my own business was an organic food delivery business.  I called it “Go Organics”, Organic food for people on the go.  I was a chef earlier in my life so this sounded like a great idea.

Well, not all ideas are as great as they first sound, as I’m sure you have learned.  I found out pretty quickly that this was going to cost me more money than it paid me and like lots of first businesses it was more of a hobby than a business.  This was early in my healing journey as well, though, so it was a great way to cook lots of great food as I got more interested in health and healing.

During this period of time I got really into juicing as well, and started selling this one manual wheatgrass juicer on Ebay.  A drop ship company contacted me and told me that they carried this product as well as hundreds of other “healthy” appliances as well if I was interested in offering them as well.

Long story short, my organic food business transitioned into an online store where I sold juicers, blenders, dehydrators and other healthy appliances.  I spent $5,000 designing a killer website (wish I had just used WordPress), and started selling lots of products on Amazon, Ebay and my own website.

As you might have guessed, this too wasn’t quite as I had originally envisioned.  I had to deal with all sorts of customer service issues, Ebay and Amazon fees, and other retailers on these platforms continually trying to offer the same product at a cheaper price.

Needless to say, someone made a lot of money from this business venture but it wasn’t me.  Like everything else in my life, I just treated this as an expensive learning experience.  I made Ebay, Amazon and my drop shipper quite a bit of money.  I never built an email list or tried to build an online following, but I did learn quite a bit about online marketing and web design / ecommerce.

Both of these early experiences were while I was in a corporate job so the fact that I wasn’t making much money was not really a big deal.

Fast forward to 2010 when I got laid off from my corporate job.  I decided to take my love of health, food and natural healing and become a health coach.  I took some of my severance pay from the pharmaceutical company that I had been laid off from and enrolled in The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

After graduating from IIN, I started seeing and building a client base, but I still was spending a ton of time learning all about online marketing, web design and lots of other business stuff.  A few of my fellow health coaches asked me to build websites for them.  Another friend who owned a marketing agency asked me to come work for her, and Health Coach Weekly was born.  This was a way for me to share some of the insights I had learned with other health coaches.

Everything I was doing was trading dollars for hours though, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that this new business I had created was actually taking up twice as much of my time as any corporate job ever had.  I loved my clients and helping people, but it felt like I was on a hamster wheel.

My big why was being there for my kids though, so the fact that I was now working at home instead of in an office was really worth a lot to me, especially when my kids were younger.  (They are 17 and 18 now)

Perhaps you can relate, but as soon as I reached what I called a good income of $5,000 per month the next month I think I earned $750 and figured out I would need to develop some alternate income streams if I wanted to ever escape the dollars for hours problem.

You read all of these online gurus who say all you need to do is write an ebook and have a group program, sell a bunch of these and you will make 6 figures.  I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that is so overly simplistic as to be almost criminal. 

Yes, people do build businesses around online programs, but it is A LOT OF HARD WORK…anyone who says different is either lying to you or even worse lying to themselves.  In fact, I think online programs are fantastic, but to build your entire business around just this is a hard thing to pull off.

During my early years writing for and publishing for Health Coach Weekly, I had a pretty strong aversion to Network Marketing companies.  I have since come to the realization that it isn’t the business model that bothers me, it is the way it is practiced by too many people that bothers me.

I have talked to and worked with enough coaches now to realize that this is one of the more stable ways to diversify your income stream and offer really awesome products to your clients.

The biggest problem I see in this field is the way the “Opportunity” is presented.  I wrote all about this myth HERE!

The real truth is that Network Marketing is not a magic bullet or an evil empire.  It is a business model and can be great or awful depending on lots of factors that have nothing to do with the fact that it is Network Marketing.

What I suggest for people is to do their own research.  After you have done all your own research and come to the conclusion that I have, which is that the actual business model is genius, then you really need to drill down and answer at least 12 questions about any company before you even consider joining them or offering the products to your clients.

Then read my FREE REPORT on “The 12 Things You Need to Look For In Choosing A Network Marketing Company”.  This will arm you with the information you need to do your own research.


This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes.

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”


Feel free to reach out or schedule a time to chat if you would like more information on the company I have found that meets all 12 of these criteria (and more).

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Sarah - May 29, 2015

Hey Geoff!! I have been subscribing to Health Coach Weekly since I discovered it a few weeks ago and just loved this article…why?? Because I am currently a student at Institute for Integrative Nutrition!! I am 30 years old and have finally found my calling…well I knew I didn’t belong in the typical arena of Corporate America, and I have always been a bit of a health nut…so here I am!! I am about to embark on the mission of creating my website and blog for my business “Nurture your Nature” as a health coach. I have been toying with the idea of including Network Marketing and with all of the options out there for website creation, marketing tools and so forth, I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO BEGIN. However, this article and the guide that I just downloaded is an excellent start, so thank you!! I would love to pick your brain mre specifically as an IIN graduate and successful Health Coach with an amazing online presence at some point, if that is at all possible?? You are truly an inspiration for someone like me!! As weird as this sounds, thanks so much for gettting laid off years ago from your corporate job, and fully embracing your ‘fitting out” calling as a health coach!! 🙂 Haha!!

Geoff Young - May 31, 2015

Hi Sarah,
It is all possible with enough hard work, proper guidance and most importantly determination and passion. I think the biggest mistake people make is thinking things will be easier than they are and spending too much time chasing bright shiny objects. This is not a quick thing to accomplish. Would love to connect sometime, drop me a note by clicking on the contact button and we can setup a time to chat.

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