How a 29 Year Old Went From Living On Welfare to Starting a Business That Earned Nearly $1 Million in Its First Year
In 2012, Kimra Luna was broke.
She and her husband, Seth, and their two young sons were living in California with her in-laws, struggling to make ends meet in a rocky economy.
"For four years, we had no steady jobs at all," now 29-year-old Luna tells Business Insider. "We did have a little money we had saved, but we blew through it really quick, then lived on whatever welfare could provide us. It covered a few bills and food, so we didn’t have anything extra at all. No extra clothes or shoes, nothing."
Then, Seth found work in as a Fedex driver in North Dakota, and moved states away. He was making enough to pay the family’s bills, and half a year later, he relocated to Virginia and Luna joined him, now living paycheck to paycheck.
"Six months on, I was getting a little bored being a stay-at-home-mom, especially since I had no friends or family in the neighborhood," she writes on her website. She and Seth decided to use their tax refund to buy a computer, and she started a blog and took a job in network marketing, selling organic skincare products and supplements. She became a popular figure on Pinterest, getting over 80,000 repins of some of her images. At the same time, she started reading about women entrepreneurs and learning what it would take to start her own business.
One of those things was money, and that was still tight. She opened a credit card with a $5,000 limit and the agreement that this money was her only available operating capital. "I used that money for the site, Facebook ads, tools, and online courses I needed," Luna remembers.
In the spring of 2014, she launched KimraLuna.com.
In her year of studying online businesses, she had learned so much that she figured she might as well share. She did it through webinars, to which she drove traffic through Facebook ads. "Most of my webinars, I have nothing to even sell on them," she tells Farnoosh Torabi on the podcast So Money. "The only thing I sold was, 'Hey, if you like this content, join my Facebook group.'"
The Freedom Hackers Facebook group, which has nearly 14,000 members.
That Facebook group is the Freedom Hackers Mastermind group, a supportive space for entrepreneurs which currently has nearly 14,000 members.
Her first product was a course called "Crushing It On Facebook," which led to inquiries about private consulting and coaching. She started selling 12 weeks of one-on-one coaching for $2,000, and in her first six weeks, she made $10,000.
Her husband quit his job to help her maintain and grow the business as its CFO, and in its first full year, the company made over $950,000 in revenue. Most of that, Luna says, is profit, since her web-based business has a low overhead.
Luna’s primary income source is her "Be True, Brand You" program, a 12-week online marketing program she offers once a year that costs $2,000 (the price will likely increase the next time it’s offered) and has had about 500 students so far. She also makes money through promoting affiliate partners on her website and through selling a few webinars for $40. In September, she will launch another program to teach people to create and launch webinars. "Basically I focus on one thing, one program," she says. "That’s why it’s worked for me."
She estimates she spends about 25 to 30 hours a week working on the business, mostly supporting her paid customers and the members of her Freedom Hackers group.
As for the money, Luna explains that most of it is currently in the bank.
"My husband and I are educating ourselves on investing," she says. "We want to be invested in stocks and other startups, and a lot of that money will go to starting another business for me. I have several future businesses I’m going to be growing."
One place she does spend, however, is on her team. "I basically can't work without outsourcing stuff," she says. "I have two assistants who work about 30 hours a week, and a private chef who cooks my meals. I have to have them — my brain can’t function without several people helping me."
Luna, who recently gave birth to her third son, advises would-be entrepreneurs to "figure out what they're really passionate about and who they truly want to serve," she says. "It won't work out unless they’re obsessed with serving those particular people — it has to be so deep, the desire so strong to help this particular type of people."
She says her own people are online entrepreneurs who are ready to take action. "People who are sick of their jobs and not having results and not knowing how to execute," she explains. "They're done listening to people that tell them the what and not the how. I'm the person who tells them how to do things."
This article was originally published on Business Insider.
Photo Credit: Kimra Luna/ Facebook