Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life series!
If you’re new here, this is a series where I am interviewing people who have designed their dream life. You can find all the interviews here on the Design Your Dream Life Page.
I am suuuper pumped for today’s interview. I have Alex and Lauren from Create & Go sharing their answers to my design your dream life questions.
Lauren is a former CPA, and Alex is a former personal trainer. And yes, they met on Tinder!
They traded in their jobs to go all in on their blogs and grew two blogs to six figures in two years and now make $100k+ per month after only three years.
They also happen to be the creators of Six Figure Blogger, which is the course that I took and fell in love with because of the actionable strategies that I immediately implemented to take my blog to six figure status (you can read my full Six Figure Blogger Review here).
Here is what Alex and Lauren had to say about designing their dream lives!
Finish the sentence “I knew I was living my dream life when…”
Lauren — I knew I was living my dream life when Alex and I took our first trip as full-time bloggers to Nicaragua. We were making around $10,000/month at the time, which was great, but it was the ability to wake up in a different country and work near the pool overlooking the ocean, go to the beach or yoga during the day, and still work when I wanted to that made me really feel like I was a living my best life. A life that SO few people will ever get to experience, and I am SO thankful for it!
Alex — I knew I was living my dream life when we were swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Laguna de Apoyo in Nicaragua. It is this immaculate waterhole created from surrounding active volcanoes that form a crater lake with blue water that you can see right through. We were staying at a hostel called Paradiso and it was just that – paradise. I remember thinking “How the f*$% did we get here again?” This was one of the first of many amazing experiences I have had because we decided to start our blog.
What was your life like before all this that led you to make a change?
Lauren — I was a full-time accountant working at a firm in Dallas. I had spent the last couple of years getting my Master’s degree and then my CPA license. I was working my way up the corporate ladder, and while I honestly wasn’t unhappy, I just felt like there had to be MORE.
I liked my job and my bosses and my co-workers, but I was still living paycheck to paycheck and glancing out my office window longingly, wishing I could spend more time outdoors and travel more than once a year.
That was a great path to be on and I know that I would have been very successful with it, but THIS life as a blogger has allowed for FAR more time and financial freedom and I absolutely LOVE every moment of it!
Alex — I was a personal trainer in Dallas. I think I had it a lot better than most of the people trapped in an office all day (like Lauren) because I could set my prices and my schedule, but it still wasn’t the life that I wanted for myself.
I still couldn’t take much time off because I had set clients, so traveling was tough. And no matter how much I raised my prices, I was STILL getting paid an hourly rate which limited my income to how many hours I wanted to work each day.
I wanted to create a passive income stream online that would allow me to earn money while I slept and didn’t require me to be present every moment for – complete time and financial freedom.
What’s your lifestyle like now?
This is an interesting question, because it has changed a LOT for us since we first started blogging full-time.
We’ve kind of done it all:
- Shut ourselves up at home – isolated from the world
- Traveling internationally with a group of other young entrepreneurs and digital nomads
- A combination of both
At one point, we were traveling for 4 months straight in other countries and basically “homeless” while blogging. While we had a BLAST, it was far too distracting and not conducive to actively growing our business.
We have found that having a stable home/work environment with our staples and comforts nearby has been the best way to stay focused and achieve maximum growth. We still travel often, but we do it when we feel like we can take the time away from our business to enjoy it!
How many hours per week do you work?
Honestly, we only NEED to work maybe 10 hours a week each to maintain our current income level.
That being said, we probably each work around 60-70 hours a week for a couple reasons:
- We LOVE what we do and thoroughly enjoy the work and the “grind”.
- The more we work, the more our business grows.
We have not yet hit any kind of “ceiling” on how much we can earn in a month and our income continues to grow. This makes it really fun for us!
How do you make money?
We make the vast majority of our income through the digital products and services (eBooks and online courses) through our blogs.
We started off by creating our own online weight loss programs that we sell on our health and wellness blog, Avocadu. After we started earning six-figures with that blog, we started another blog called Create and Go, where we teach people how to become full-time bloggers and make money online (like we did).
- Side note from Natalie – I’ve taken all of the Create + Go courses, and I’m sort of obsessed with them. You can get them all in their Pro Blogger Bundle.
How long did it take for you to make $1k per month?
Unfortunately, it took us a while to find the RIGHT information online as far as learning how to make money with our blog. At the time, we didn’t really identify as “bloggers.” We were just trying to “monetize a health and fitness website.”
There was just too much information out there and none of what we found really worked for our particular blog or situation. Because of this, it took us about 7 months to make our first $1,000 per month.
We spent the first 2 of those months trying to monetize a blog that ultimately ended up failing, and then we spent the next five months starting and monetizing Avocadu. We were also working full-time at our other jobs for nearly all of this time.
Thankfully, the pieces started to fall into place by the time that we hit $1,000 per month and we doubled our revenues for the next 4 months after that.
How long did it take for you to make six figures per year?
Including those first couple of months with the failed blog, it took us about 10 months to hit the $10,000 per month mark.
But we earned six figures within our first year of starting our current health and wellness blog, Avocadu. The revenues for the first year were $103,457.98.
What do you wish you knew when you were starting out that you know now?
I honestly just wish that we had the RIGHT information from the start. If we had learned more about the world of blogging and known that we were definitely “bloggers,” I think it would have made a huge difference in how we sought out information.
We took plenty of courses, but they were on launches and webinars and all of the WRONG things for that new blogger stage that we were in at the time. Some of it was valuable information, but it wouldn’t be relevant to us for another year or two.
If we had found blogging courses from the beginning, we would have achieved success a lot faster in those first few months. It has served as the inspiration for the blogging courses that we sell because they contain all of the information that helped us that we WISH we had from the beginning.
- Side note from Natalie – this is why I’m SO appreciative I stumbled upon Create + Go and took Six Figure Blogger (it really works).
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out and wants to design her dream life?
Hold on really tightly to your WHY.
I can tell you that the #1 thing you need to do is WORK HARD. We achieved success faster than most because we work harder than most. We love the work and we are very disciplined when it comes to prioritizing that work.
But that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is to be the person who wants it the most. Your WHY is what will be the #1 driving force to your growth and success.
It’s also important to make sure that your why isn’t money-focused. It can absolutely be about the things or experiences that are possible because of money, but don’t let your why be “to earn more money or to earn X per month.”
Our why was simple: We wanted to stop trading hours for dollars and have complete freedom over our lives. We wanted the time and financial freedom to travel, work at home, eat, workout, and visit family whenever we wanted.
And yes, we needed MONEY to do this, but money was the means to the end. Not the end itself.
A Final Note!
A big THANK YOU to Lauren and Alex for sharing their answers to the Design Your Dream Life series questions.
I loooove their work ethic and advice to hold on to your why and focus on the right things.
Alex and Lauren changed my life forever after I took Six Figure Blogger. I finally got a strategy that worked (after 3 years of blogging and sort of stalling out).
I hope Alex + Lauren inspire you as much as they inspire me!
Are you inspired by Alex and Lauren?! Let them know in the comments!
P.s. If you want to start a blog, you can check out these free resources:
- How To Start A Blog (blog post)
- The Ultimate Guide To Blogging (where I keep all my blogging posts)
- How I Made $45K Blogging While Working Full Time (free eBook)
You can also jump in my 5 day free blog training by adding your email to the form below!