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How I Earned $30k While on Maternity Leave

I’m not gonna lie… when I first found out we were pregnant I was terrified. Not to become a mom – I couldn’t WAIT to start growing our family. But I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous about what would happen to our business.

We had grown our business from scratch – with a lot of heart and a LOT of hustle. And while we had big dreams of what we wanted our business to look like, truth is we were so busy working for our clients and IN our business that we rarely had time to work ON it.

When we found out we were pregnant in September 2018, I was doing a ton of 1-on-1 coaching and feeling super burnt out. I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue growing that business model at scale, especially when the baby came around.

I also knew that family was important to me and wanted to grow our business in a way that would allow me to have even MORE time with my family and new baby -, especially during those first few months.

As a self-employed entrepreneur, there is no such thing as “maternity leave.” No one pays you to take time off. If I wasn’t working on our business, I wasn’t making money.

So what did we do?

We finally took the time to implement all those big goals and plans we had been dreaming about! Turns out, pregnancy is a pretty good hard deadline to make it all happen 😂

In this post, I’m going to walk you through the exact steps I took both DURING my pregnancy and after to create sustainable revenue while taking a full 3-month maternity leave as an entrepreneur.

Turning Our 1:1 Coaching into Group Coaching

Like I mentioned above, we had been doing a lot of one-on-one coaching up until the time we found out we were pregnant. Needless to say those coaching calls were REAAAAALLY tough that first trimester.

Truth is, we had been talking for a while about how we could evolve our services to serve more people in a less time-intensive way for us. It just wasn’t possible for us to scale with the 1:1 model without charging an astronomical price, and we really wanted to keep our strategies affordable.

So our first step – like literally right in our first trimester – was to see if we could teach our Facebook ad strategies in a way that wasn’t quite as time intensive without losing the impact on our clients’ businesses.

Truthfully, I wasn’t ready to go straight from 1:1 coaching to a DIY course. I had very limiting beliefs that there’s no way we’d have the same impact if I wasn’t teaching EACH person individually. Boy was I wrong – more on this later!

So our first step was to turn our 1:1 coaching into a group coaching program.

Since we had already helped dozens of entrepreneurs through the same curriculum, I had a really good idea of what was working and what wasn’t. I already knew what the biggest pain points and most confusing parts were. This was a HUGE help!

If you’re considering moving into group programs or especially a DIY course, I highly recommend offering services 1:1 first. Yes, it’s a lot of work. BUT it’s invaluable in learning what is really going to help your students (vs maybe just confuse them or be unnecessary).

We took the simplest approach for launching our group coaching program. We used the SAME FUNNEL we had used to book out our 1:1 coaching spots, but on those discovery calls, we pitched the group program instead of 1:1.

And we sold out 16 spots!

My biggest lesson learned here was we launched our first group program in November, meaning we were fighting against family time, travel, strict budgets because of holiday shopping, and crazy ad costs because of Q4 marketing.

That being said, we LOVED kicking off our group training in the beginning of January, so while launching and selling during the holiday time was difficult, it was worth it.

Turning Our Group Coaching Program into a DIY Program

Our group coaching program served a lot of purposes for us during this transition time in our business. It allowed us to:

  • Keep teaching our strategies in a personal way
  • Offer a more affordable price-point
  • Develop a better structure and curriculum for teaching our strategies
  • Get even more results and testimonials in less time
  • Create the recordings and content that we’d turn into our DIY
  • Collect feedback from our students on what worked and what didn’t

All of these things were invaluable as we were working towards building our evergreen Facebook ads course. Seriously, I couldn’t recommend first hosting a 1:1 or group coaching enough. We were getting real-time feedback and results and learning fast what we’d need to update before turning a course evergreen and fully DIY.

Another great thing about the live group coaching program is that it involved a LOT of upfront work (as all launches do). So while this meant I was a wee bit (read: EXTRA) tired during my first trimester, by the time we were hosting the program we had lot less work to do each week. In fact, we probably spent 1-3 hours answering questions in our FB group and 1 hour on a live Q&A each week while we hosted the program from January – March of 2019. 

That meant that we had way more free time to put in the work to build out the evergreen course during that time.

Related post: What is an Evergreen Launch?

We knew we didn’t want the evergreen to include everything the live group program had to offer (since we didn’t know if we’d be offering both as services and didn’t want to cannibalize one offer for another). So we simplified our strategies, reorganized the content, created helpful resources that would become our guides for students (instead of us teaching live), and built the evergreen course out on Teachable.

This time around, we had to do a little more to update our funnels since we wouldn’t be live launching. For example, during our live launches, I was opening my calendar up for personal discovery calls. It was a higher investment with limited seating, so we wanted to make sure we took the time to answer questions and invite the right students to join us.

So we spent a lot of this time updating our funnel and email sequences to an evergreen model. By the time we got back to NJ to hunker down one month before Ellie was due, we were ready to launch the evergreen.

(fun fact: I had to be induced so Pete has hilarious videos of me working on a bouncy ball from the hospital room totally relaxed trying to pop a baby out and build out funnels).

Our Evergreen Funnel Results

To kick off the evergreen launch, we launched live first. That’s not to say we had a true “open” and “close” carts, but we were going to be using a webinar model for our launch, so we needed to host at least one live one first to use for the evergreen version.

We hosted that webinar in March while we were still in our RV in Breckenridge and sold our first spots into the new DIY course. 

During our 5-day, live launch sequence we earned $5,719 in revenue.

To say we were excited was an understatement. We had worked SO hard to make sure we’d be able to truly serve our students well without spending crazy hours doing so – and it finally felt like everything was coming together!

We turned that funnel evergreen in April and ran it throughout my maternity leave.

During that time, our evergreen course brought in $33,899 in revenue for our business.

I can’t even begin to tell you the peace – and excitement! – this brought me on maternity leave. I’m an overachiever who really LOVES to work, so the thought of totally logging off was hard for me. This made it SO much easier. I was able to show up when and how I wanted to for our new students, but I didn’t have the pressure to host 1:1 calls or schedule meetings. Instead, I was able to soak up ALL of the baby snuggles! (best feeling ever)

Thoughts on Evergreen Funnels

We had built evergreen funnels in our own business and for clients before, but it truly wasn’t until this experience that I realized just how powerful and impactful they can be. 

Like I mentioned before, I had a lot of limiting beliefs about evergreen courses. We’ve all been in funnels or courses that just feel icky and spammy. We didn’t want to be those people. So we worked really hard to think through ways to do it differently and create an experience that would be as impactful and transformational as possible for our students.

If I could share anything I’ve learned from launching this evergreen course it would be these two things:

how I earned 30k while on maternity leave
  1. Evergreen funnels WORK. They provide SO much freedom in your business, allow you to scale and grow in totally new ways, AND still serve your audience well
  2. In order to do that ^ I really believe you have to have the right heart about your evergreen funnel. Don’t do it just to “make money in your sleep.” Do it to create MORE impact for MORE people – and if you do it the right way, it’ll also give YOU more income and freedom too.

So what do you think? Ready to launch your own evergreen funnel?!

If you’re thinking of creating an evergreen course, I recommend reading this blog on evergreen launches OR if you are ready to hit the ground running, I’d love to work together to help you build and launch your funnel!

You can learn all about my funnel-building program + 1:1 coaching options here.

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