Jobless Man Who Started Earning $160,000 Monthly Reveals His Secret

In 2009, during the Great Recession, Graham Cochrane found himself laid off from his job as an audio engineer. While working his 9-to-5, he had also been freelancing as a music producer for indie bands. The layoff, though challenging, presented an opportunity for him to focus on growing his side hustle, despite having no entrepreneurial experience.

Today, he has built two successful online businesses—a music education company and a business coaching brand. These ventures generate around $160,000 a month in passive income, allowing him to work less than five hours a week.

The Ultimate Guide to Earning Passive Income Online

Through his journey, he has learned a lot about building profitable businesses and has shared his knowledge with over 3,000 clients. He even wrote a book about his experiences. For anyone thinking about starting a side hustle, his number one piece of advice is:

Build a Side Hustle That Can Scale Automatically

Initially, he relied on what he calls “the hustle method.” He used his skills to help people solve the problem of recording better-sounding music. He spent countless hours getting clients, making calls, sending emails, and attending events to network and hand out business cards. Despite working 32 hours a week on his side hustle, he only made $2,000 a month.

As he freelanced, he created content online about audio engineering, and as his audience grew, he found ways to monetize his content strategically. It soon became clear that focusing on automation could increase his income and free up his time.

The Business Model

The automation method comprises four components:

  • Discoverable Content: Create evergreen content like YouTube videos, blog posts, and podcasts. This type of content remains visible and searchable over time. For instance, a video on “How To Build A Home Recording Studio For Only $300” can draw in viewers who then engage with your other content.
  • Free Gifts: Offer something valuable in exchange for an email address to build your email list. This could be a PDF guide, video masterclass, or audio training. For example, a “Studio Gear Guide” PDF complements the home studio video, guiding viewers to the best equipment.
  • Email Autoresponders: Use tools like Mailchimp or Kajabi to automate a series of emails that provide value and build on your content. This leads to pitching your product towards the end of the email series.
  • Digital Products: Sell your expertise through online courses, e-books, or paid communities. This allows you to scale your income while freeing up your time. Courses can be created quickly and affordably, and prices vary based on the niche and content depth.

Scaling and Sustainability

When choosing a side hustle, ensure it can scale easily and sustainably. Ask yourself if the business can grow without significant ongoing effort or costs. If the answer is yes, you’re on the right track.

By leveraging automation and focusing on scalable, digital products, he transformed his side hustle into a thriving business. Whether someone is starting fresh or looking to grow an existing side project, these strategies can help achieve similar success.

Published by
Rija Sohaib