The $10K/month Side Hustle With Keina Newell (Transcript)

Keina is passionate about her work and finds no greater satisfaction than helping her clients start managing their money with joy because they’ve learned to feel possibility where they once felt shame, guilt, overwhelm, and anxiety.

We had a great discussion about how she’s built her coaching practice to $10K months — while maintaining her full-time corporate job.

This is a transcript of Work Less, Earn More, Episode 55. Listen to the episode here.


Keina Newell:

In the last several months, I was budding up to, I could be making more money, just working for myself. When you get to that point, it’s then I could calculate, it was a calculated risk to be able to leave my job and to be able to work full time for myself.

Gillian Perkins:

We became entrepreneurs because more than anything, we want freedom. We want to be in control of our own schedule, income, and life. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the reality of being a business owner. I’m Gillian Perkins, and I’m on a mission to take back entrepreneurship for what it’s supposed to be. In every episode, I’ll share with you how to get the most out of every hour you work, so that you can work less and earn more. Let’s get to it. Hi there everyone and welcome to this episode of Work Less, Earn More. Today, I am joined by Keina Newell, who is the Founder of Wealth Over Now. And Keina works with professional women and solopreneurs to create new possibilities with their money so that they can save more, pay off debt, invest in themselves and stress less about money. I’m super excited to have Keina here on the show today because she has really done something incredible with her business, built it as a side hustle, but turned it into quite a success. So welcome to the show Keina.

Keina Newell:

Thank you for having me.

Gillian Perkins:

Yes, absolutely. And thank you so much for sparing the time, because I’m sure you have a busy schedule and I really appreciate you taking the time to be here with us today.

Keina Newell:

I’m always happy to talk about what I do. It’s exciting.

Gillian Perkins:

Awesome. So to give the listeners some context, could you start out by just telling us a little bit about the work that you do and how you got into working as a coach?

Keina Newell:

Yeah, so I, as you stated, I work with professional women and solopreneurs. I’m a financial coach and I enjoy talking about money. My own personal story and journey with money is really how I got here and being in debt, like graduating from college and having the student loan debt, which I think a lot of Americans can relate to that story. But I was making $33,000 a year as a teacher and really having to figure out how do I pay down my debt, but also save for a home and achieve some of those milestones in life. And so I had to personally get my finances in order. And I actually was a teacher, which is probably something that’s unexpected, but the thing that I really enjoyed in being an educator, I ended up being a vice principal with the coaching aspect of my work and helping, whether it was kids or teachers realize what’s possible.

Keina Newell:

And I have a background in finance, from college and I loved budgeting and I started searching for opportunities to marry this coaching piece, but also marry the idea of helping people really understand numbers in a way that makes sense to them and just eases stress. So now I’m here today, three years later.

The Start of Keina’s Coaching Journey

Gillian Perkins:

So you started coaching three years ago. Is that right?

Keina Newell:

Mm-hmm.

Gillian Perkins:

And so when you first started, what did that look like? Can you tell me about getting your first client?

Keina Newell:

Well, I thought if you just had a website, then you could get a client and that’s not true. And I got my first client actually, because I decided that I would host a meetup group. And so I did a financial meet-up where about eight people signed up, zero people actually attended and then that same morning someone actually did register for the event. And so that was my first client. We did two meetup sessions and then she ended up being an ongoing client. So yeah, my first or my third month of business, I think I made $40.

Gillian Perkins:

Been there.

Keina Newell:

But I created it, so that was exciting.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. So then walk me through the timeline from then to now, how has your client load expanded and your services expanded, maybe?

Keina Newell:

So in the beginning, I was definitely fine by the seat of my pants and being like, “Oh, I think I’m going to meet with people for three months and I’ll meet with you once a week.” In the beginning, I also did, I would start with clients with a two hour session and then if they wanted to work with me beyond the two hour session, then they had the opportunity to work with me in a coaching partnership. I had very few clients that actually wanted to do that or what I thought was very few clients wanted to do that. I now know that there were some mindset issues and things that I needed to do better from the coaching perspective.

Keina Newell:

And so then I switched, in 2019 I switched my programming to instead of the two hour session, I started doing a one month intensive, which is currently my model. Where all of the clients that work with me, we work together for a month and then if they decide that they want to continue working with me, then they go into a four month partnership. Really made that transition and shifting by one, thinking about what I wanted to provide for my coaching clients. And then two, also start working with a business coach who told me I was undercharging and started to get comfortable with charging money for something that I think is innately easy to be doing.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. That makes sense. And so it sounds like you pivoted to make your coaching services a little bit more of like a proprietary service, something that’s a package where you’re setting the terms at the beginning, you’re telling the client what you would recommend as the best. Instead of just being like, “Yeah, let’s work together for a few months see where this goes.”

Keina Newell:

Yeah. And I mean, originally I wanted the one month, because I wanted people to get a taste of coaching. I know now, because I’ve done all the mindset work, I was thinking that people weren’t continuing working with me as well, because they didn’t know what coaching felt like. They didn’t know the experience. So I knew that if you could experience the transformation, then it was a no brainer. And so definitely in the beginning I started thinking about changing packages and services based off of what I thought clients didn’t understand.

Gillian Perkins:

You probably took a pretty significant mindset shift though, to go from just wanting clients to work with you for as long as possible to recommending to them to start with just one month.

Keina Newell:

Yes. For sure. Definitely.

Gillian Perkins:

So these days you’re working with clients one month at a time and immediately something that I think of that could be a little challenging about that would be that you have to have more clients, right. If a lot of them are only working with you for one month, is that the case or do a lot of them go on and want to continue working with you?

Keina Newell:

I would say my goal is that if I signed five new clients in a month, that at least half of those people continue to work with me. And so I have that retainer income within my business, but then also I can help people in that one month container as well.

Gillian Perkins:

So there are a few different aspects of this that I’m really interested in diving into, one would be how you’re balancing your schedule. I know that at least currently, and up until this point you’ve been working a full-time job along with your coaching practice. I’d also learn more about how you’re finding your clients, what you found to be the best method of finding and attracting and closing these clients. So let’s start well, which one would you like to start with?


Finding Clients

Keina Newell:

We can start with where I’m finding people because that’s the last thing you said. So I actually have a mix of, I would say it’s been client referrals, social media, and then Google. So I feel like people tell you to nail down where people are coming from, but my people equally come from those three places because there are people that are shame Googling at night, as when someone I work with calls it, and they’re really trying to figure out what they need to be doing with their finances. And so I think that’s how clients find me on Google. And then also over the years, I’ve built my social media presence and figured out how to use Instagram to build a business. So I’m also getting clients there. And then of course, the client referral where people are saying to their friends like, “No, she really helped me understand my finances better, you need to get a consult with her.”

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. I think it’s great to have multiple different marketing strategies that are working for you. I think when it’s important for people to ask, where are my clients coming from? And double-down on. Is when they’re doing a lot of different things and a lot of them aren’t working. It’s like, well, where are your clients really coming from? But in your case, it’s so nice that you have these three different streams of income kind of, streams of clients, right? So I’m especially curious about getting clients from Google because for a more high ticket offer, like you sell in your business, it can be hard to go from someone stumbling across your website on Google, to actually signing up for purchasing your product. So what does that little pipeline there look like? Do you have some smaller product they can purchase or some way they can try out your services? Or did they just go for it when they see your website?

Keina Newell:

Yeah. No, I think they’re just going for it. When I think about, I’ve wanted to create content that I feel people can, one, like my website, one of the things I wanted was when they landed on my website that they felt comfortable. I talked to my designer and I’m like, “People are airing out their laundry drawer basically, or their underwear drawer and they are telling me about their finances. So when they land on my page, I want them to feel very comfortable.” It’s also the voice that I would say I use in my content. And I want them to know that this experience can be something that actually brings them joy. And I think that people get that from landing on my website, the content that they read, the things that are there for them to be able to access as well as I would say, people that have found me on Google, they talk about reading the testimonials that they’ve seen on Google reviews or Yelp, or they read a couple of my blog posts and things have resonated with them really well.

Keina Newell:

So one of my focuses, I would say, like this year, is getting my content to sell for me. So even if someone came to me and it was a cold referral that they would know, oh, she is actually somebody that I want to work with.

Gillian Perkins:

Well, I think that sounds like you have put a lot of thought into that and you’ve created a system that’s working really well for you. And just to give the listeners some context, what is the current starting rate someone could work with you for?

Keina Newell:

$1,800.

Gillian Perkins:

So a pretty significant sum really.

Keina Newell:

Mm-hmm. But in my head I’ve decided that it’s actually not, when it’s the gift that keeps on getting your finances in order.

Gillian Perkins:

Oh, yes absolutely. Yeah. It’s just beyond what we’d say someone would do as an impulse buyer. So it’s not where you’re selling something that people could get started for $50 or a hundred dollars. They definitely need to put a little bit of thought into the decision and they’ll need to weigh the benefits of working with you against that cost. Right. And see the value in it.

Keina Newell:

Yeah. That’s how I write my copy though. Right. So I’m talking about all of those things, because I know that the elephant in the room, and I’m very comfortable talking about that with clients. Where I’m like, I get it, the elephant in the room is that you’re coming to me and you’re telling me you don’t have any money and I’m now asking you to pay me $1,800. You’re telling me, but Keina, I don’t have any money. So yeah, it’s one of the objections that I definitely, like I said, tackle through my copy, but also through my consult.

Gillian Perkins:

It’s an objection that pretty much everyone who’s selling anything has to tackle. Right. Like is this thing really worth the money? And nobody “has the money” if they don’t see the value in the product. Right. But in your business it’s a very obvious challenge to overcome because of the privilege you’re selling.

Keina Newell:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

The episode you’re currently listening to was originally offered as a livestream inside Startup Society, a training program for digital entrepreneurs. Each week in the program, Gillian teaches a live workshop for startup members, including a teaching segment, like what you’re listening to right now, a tutorial segment that demonstrates how to take action on the lesson and an open Q & A period where Gillian and guest experts work directly with each member. Members also get access to startups society’s library of business training courses, monthly co-working sessions and other events and our private community forum. If you’re looking for affordable business training, mentorship, and accountability, then visit startupsociety.com/ podcast, to learn more about the program and apply to join. Now, here’s Gillian with the rest of today’s episode.


How to Balance Your Full-Time and Your Side Hustle

Gillian Perkins:

So let’s move on and talk about how you are balancing your schedule, because I want to know all your secrets. So you’re working a full-time job. Is that correct?

Keina Newell:

Yes.

Gillian Perkins:

But you shared with me that this is going to be ending soon, is that right?

Keina Newell:

Yes. So I will quit January 15th.

Gillian Perkins:

And it’s amazing. So you’ve got just about 10 days, I’m sure you’re counting down the days.

Keina Newell:

I’m definitely like, oh, great [inaudible 00:13:03]. But as far as managing my schedule, so when I actually first started my business, I went in full throttle. I left education and I had made a decision that I didn’t actually want to return. And so I piecemealed some educational consulting together while I was building my business. And last year I actually took on a full-time role where I actually coach leaders. So I coach principals and academic officers. And the one thing that was important for me is that I had a job that had flexibility and I was very transparent with them that I’m building a business that I don’t plan on giving up. And I joked with Tara that my business oh, not my business, that my job is actually my side hustle. It pays retirement healthcare. And then I view my business as my full-time role.

Keina Newell:

So scheduling, I would say is really important. One of the things that I worked on with my business coaches, having days that I do certain things. So like I coach on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I have a block of time where I’m coaching from 3:00 to 8:00 PM on those days. And then on Mondays is the day that I do consults. I also do those in the afternoon. So it’s allowed me to plan around when I know I want to be in my business. The thing that I’ve had to shift in the last year is that I’ve actually started to pick up more clients. And so where that time used to just be blocked out and be for hopeful, my potential clients, is now for clients. So I do have to be mindful of how I’m using my time blocks throughout the day to make sure that I’m getting content written or if I need to follow up or do outreach with, with my current client caseload, or I’m thinking about social media strategy, that I’m planning an outreach block in the first hour of my day because that’s when I’m the freshest.

Keina Newell:

So I really try to pay attention to when I know I have energy and how do I manage needing to do what I need to do at work, but also being able to show up for my business.

Gillian Perkins:

So I think you’ve touched on something that’s really important there, which is, it sounds like prior to having a full client load, you’re using a lot of that time to work on, grow on really marketing right. And attracting clients. And now that time is filled with clients. And so now I’m sure you’re aware of the challenge there, which is you have to save enough time to still be able to market so you have clients in the future or you can just quit your job. Right. And then get that time there.

Keina Newell:

Yeah. And so in the last several months I was budding up to the, I could be making more money just working for myself. And so when you get to that point, it’s like, then I could calculate, it was a calculated risk to be able to leave my job and to be able to work full time for myself.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah. So with your full-time job, is it 40 hours a week 9:00 to 5:00? Or are your hours not quite that?

Keina Newell:

Technically speaking, it is 8:00 to 5:00. But I get to make my schedule within that day. So if I had something like this conversation, technically I’m at work, but I can block out this hour of the day and flex the time through my schedule.

Gillian Perkins:

Well, I’m sure that that’s really helped with building your business and just having that flexibility there. And then when it comes to the hours that you are investing in your business, two questions. One is how many hours have you been spending on your business and maybe how has that changed over these past three years? And then I’m curious, what are the tasks that takes the largest amount of your time consistently each week?

Keina Newell:

I think the time, in terms of the task, I think that takes the longest. I think right now in spending a lot of time forward-facing with clients. If I were to break down my actual, where does my time go? And then I would say second where I spend a lot of time is with content and writing weekly newsletters, doing my Instagram captions. I actually don’t outsource a ton of things mainly because I have trust issues and being able to identify that’s one of the things I’m actually working on with my coaches, what are the things that I want to outsource to make sure that I’m outsourcing, I know exactly what I’m outsourcing and how I’m going to use that time for myself or for my business. What is that in exchange for? So there’s a return on investment.

Keina Newell:

Ideally, I don’t actually know how many hours I spend in my business a week because I don’t actually count it. I love my business so much that I will work in my business at anytime. I know when I initially was doing my schedule, the goal was to be at about 20 hours a week. And so even thinking about those Tuesday, Thursdays, I coach like four to five hours. And then I probably, depending on how consults come in, I do another four hours of consult time. And then within other hours of the week, I’m like, oh, I’m going to do an hour of content here, an hour of content there and so breaking that up. But I probably would say at least 30 hours a week is what I’m doing.

Gillian Perkins:

And that just really shows the power of being inspired and having that motivation behind you. So it’s not like, oh, where can I, oh, I want to do this, but I can’t find the time. You’re easily finding the time. Right. Even though you don’t have that much time, you’re finding big chunks of time throughout the week, plus I’m sure you’re working on the weekends as well.

Keina Newell:

Yeah. And I guess for me, I give myself permission to work when I feel inspired. Sometimes I have to work when I’m uninspired, but if I wake up one morning and I feel like, oh my goodness, I could crank out so much content. Then I will shift things around to crank out the content.

What does Success Mean to You?

Gillian Perkins:

So now let’s talk about success. So we’ve all heard success means different things to different people, right? And to some people it’s about the paycheck, to some people it’s about the lifestyle. For some people success is just “happiness” other people just want to be able to spend lots of time with family or have a big house. So what does success really mean to you?

Keina Newell:

Right now in my business, I would say success isn’t being able to leave my job. But then within that, it’s also being able to have impact. I’ve always wanted to be someone who had impact on the world. I think that education allowed me to do that and now with my clients, it’s incredible to hear them talk about how their lives have transformed. And so that really inspires me as a coach. And it makes me really excited. I’ve had a lot of women that I’ve been working with recently that are recently divorced. And so they’ve been able to redefine who they are as a woman, because we’ve been able to tackle and address how money moves in their life.

Gillian Perkins:

How does your current business model support that definition of success?

Keina Newell:

I’m always thinking about my clients and how do I better serve them? Everything that I’m doing is thinking about how do I better serve people that are working with me or people that will potentially work with me or people that are reading my content? It’s all about service.

Gillian Perkins:

Would you say that you’ve already reached your definition of success? It sounds like it’s probably an ongoing thing.

Keina Newell:

Oh, yeah. I think the target is going to move. Right. But for me right now, it’s like I created money. I think there’s that first thing where I had an idea, like four years ago, if you had been like, “Keina, you’re going to own a business.” I would have rolled my eyes at you quite frankly. And so just going from, in July of 2018, me coming up with this business idea to now being at a place where my business is consistently hitting five figure months. And it actually happens. It’s a great feeling because of the $40 a month that I had in September of 2018.

Gillian Perkins:

Yeah, absolutely. And finally, on this topic of success and where you’re at right now and where things are going, where are you hoping to, or where are you working to take your business in the next five to 10 years?

Keina Newell:

Five, I haven’t thought about, but I’m at three at least. And I would say, I want to build a seven figure business that allows me to one, live how I desire, but then also once again, going back to that impact piece, being able to employ other people and make sure that they have beyond a minimum standard of living and being able to reinforce that financial freedom that we all I think aspire to have. And also being able to use my business in a way that impacts the community that I served for a very long time as a teacher. And how do I have those full circle moments to make sure the kids that I loved for over a decade, that I’m still paying attention to them in a new sector of my life.

Gillian Perkins:

How will you need to shift your business model to reach that goal?

Keina Newell:

So that’s what I’m working on this year. I haven’t conceptualized exactly what that will look like, but I’m imagining that I will start doing less one-to-one and start transitioning more into a group coaching model, because there are only so many people that I can coach one-to-one because there are only so many hours in a week. So really starting to think about, how does my content delivery change with those one-to-one sessions to impact a one to many model?

Gillian Perkins:

Well, I can say that you are going some amazing places with your business and thank you so much for just opening up and sharing about your current business model, how it works, how you’re doing it alongside a full-time job. I think that one of the biggest takeaways people can get from this episode is just how powerful your love of your business is really. You love what you do so much, and you’re so passionate about the work that you’re doing, that you are, like I said earlier, easily finding the time to fit it all in. And I think that sometimes people are really struggling to find the time and if they can make some pivots, maybe with their thinking, then there’ll be able to make the time much more easily.

Keina Newell:

Yeah. And I think it’s like, you don’t need to have a lot of time, right? That’s a thought that you need a lot of time. And so for me, it’s like, where can I show up and be consistent?

Gillian Perkins:

Awesome. Well, again, Keina, thank you so much for taking the time to do this with me today. Everything that you shared was very insightful. And I know that the listeners will really appreciate the insight that you provided and just hearing about your experience. So thank you so much.

Keina Newell:

Thank you for having me.

Speaker 3:

Thanks for listening to this episode of Work Less, Earn More. Before we wrap this up, listening to this question, a Startup Society member asked during the live stream.

Gillian Perkins:

Victoria says, how do you set up boundaries for your side hustle? Often times feel a lot of pressure on myself to grow faster than I am and I end up spending all my time and energy on it when it’s meant to be a side hustle. When I get feedback from people, they often share ideas on how to grow bigger and better, but that often just creates more stress than joy. So how do you create those boundaries?

Keina Newell:

I think it’s remembering what are my goals? And what’s my why? Like for myself, I know one of the things that I want as a result of my business is to be able to have more freedom with my time in my personal life. And so it’s like planning in things where I’m not working all the time. But whatever it is, whatever that priority is in your life, how is that showing up in your schedule? So not always taking on more because someone else is telling you to, or do you take a random every other Wednesday off because that’s something that you wanted to be able to afford yourself the opportunity to do. I think, and being comfortable with constantly revisiting that and not feeling like you need to be perfect.

Gillian Perkins:

All right. Well that is everything for today. Thank you so much for joining me for today’s episode. If you found this episode helpful and you would like to participate live in future recording sessions, then be sure to visit startupsociety.com/podcast, to learn more about all the benefits of membership and apply to join. And finally, it would be a big help if you left Work Less, Earn More a review on Apple podcasts. Not only will this help us reach more people, but it’s also going to give you the chance to potentially win a 12 month membership to Startup Society. All you need to do to enter is post your review on Apple podcasts, then email a screenshot to contact@gillianperkins.com. Thanks again so much for listening. Now, let’s wrap this up. I’m Gillian Perkins, and until next week, stay focused and take action.

    Sean McMullin

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