My First $10k Income Month


When you become an entrepreneur, you get tons of questions. At least I did.

Many of the questions I received centered around people doubting the practicality of my decision and how I’d make any money.

Sometimes it’s my neighbor at a local church festival congratulating me on my books and then asking genuinely, “Are you making any money with that?” Other times it’s an uncle ignoring the positive possibility I shared about my business, and instead asking me if I’ll be able to afford health insurance at age 26 (I’m 23 by the way).  

The questions about my income, and truthfully the real question of do you know what you’re doing, come often.

So while everything wasn’t smooth and nothing in the future is guaranteed, this month I reaped the rewards of my labor more than ever before.

In December 2016, I made over $10,000 doing work that I love.

Use This Story As Inspiration

Before we get to the income timeline, I recognize that $10,000 in a month is nothing for a big time entrepreneur.

Many top performers make more than that in an hour. And their goal is $1 million a month or more. So compared to the whales out there, I’m still a minnow.

That’s why I’m not saying, “I made it. Look at me!” I’m saying this is what’s possible when you take a risk and do what you’re passionate about.

My sole purpose behind this post is to inspire you.

I want to inspire the kid who just started their own blog, YouTube channel, or podcast. The dropout who started their clothing business. And the young professional who daydreams about their goals while stuck in a cubicle.

Part of me didn’t want to post this. But then I figured it would be a disservice to the people with a successful mindset. I certainly would have appreciated reading a post like this as a new entrepreneur.

If you do what successful people do, you will look at this post as a sign of confidence that you too can chase your dreams and get paid for it.

You’ll look at the hard work and respect it. You’ll notice that I’m no different from you, and you’ll be encouraged and inspired to get yours.

If you have an unsuccessful (scarcity) mindset, then you’re going to hate reading this. I’m not sorry. Just know it’s never too late to join the winning side who are doing what they love and making a living. And what has hating on someone ever gotten you? Nothing.

Plus, if I get less questions about, “Are you making any money?,” because of this post, then I’ll take that.

Lastly, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to inspire myself to keep pushing and never stop. Because when I undoubtedly reach a difficult business season in the future, I can come back to this post as inspiration.

I will remember the struggle to go from only making $500 in March 2016 to more than $10,000 nine months later.

And I’ll know that I climbed that mountain, so why can’t I climb the mountain for a six or seven figure month down the road? I believe I can and I will.

Alright, below is the timeline of my entrepreneurial journey from beginning to now. As you’ll see, I slowly but surely built my income brick by brick.

Timeline To A Five Figure Month

Traffic Growth, Zero Monetization: Entrepreneurial Months 1 To 8

Date: January 2015 to August 2015

Total Income Streams: 2

1. Sales job

2. Dividends

In my senior year of college, I had the idea to start So for the first eight months after that, half as a student and half as an outside sales rep, I just focused on growing my website traffic and email subscribers.

This meant about three blog posts a week, an email out to the newsletter each week, social media marketing, and doing some interviews.

If I had it over again, I would have monetized earlier. Because I had the false perception that you can only monetize if you have a big email list, which isn’t true. A big email list helps, but if you have committed fans, then you can sell with only a few hundred subscribers.

And besides my outside sales paycheck starting in June during this time, a couple hundred dollars from stock dividends marked my only other income.

My only business expense was website hosting, which is like $60 for 12 months.

Became A Bestselling Author: Entrepreneurial Months 9 To 14

Date: September 2015 to February 2016

Total Income Streams: 3

1. Book sales

2. Affiliate earnings

3. Dividends

After growing a decent audience, I received tons of emails from subscribers looking for resume and job search strategies. So I decided to write a book on exactly that.


In late September 2015,  The Golden Resume became an Amazon bestseller. I felt extremely proud at that moment of my life (thanks to all of you who bought it, reviewed it, and spread the word). And these book sales immediately sent a sizable passive income to my bank account each month.

Also during this time, I realized that starting a blog forever changed my life.

Since I saw so much value in having a blog, I published a page on my site recommending other visitors to start their own blog. I set up an affiliate link with BlueHost, which pays me an affiliate commission when people sign up through it.


I did have more business expenses during September. The book editor, book cover designer, and formatter all combined to cost around $500. After that, business expenses remained at zero, pretty much.

And I still had my outside sales job income during this stretch. However, after seeing progress and knowing for a 100% fact that I had the guts to do it, I resigned from my sales job to be a full-time entrepreneur in February 2016

Adding Income Streams: Entrepreneurial Months 15 To 23

Date: March 2016 to November 2016

Total Income Streams: 6

1. Book sales

2. Affiliate earnings

3. Media work

4. Blog and social media advertising

5. Coaching

6. Dividends


Another factor that gave me the courage to resign is I knew that my second book Freedom Mindset would come out in March and be another moneymaker. This book also became an Amazon bestseller, and this time in the super competitive personal finance category (thank you readers!).

Although the books did great and brought in solid passive income, starting out in March I took a big pay cut to go from outside sales rep to entrepreneur. (I personally believe this big pay cut and a need for security is the reason many top performers at corporate jobs don’t leave to work for themselves and make more money down the road. It’s definitely difficult in the beginning to make way less than you’re worth.)

To get back to my monthly income from my sales job and beyond, I knew I needed to add more income streams. So I looked at what other skills or experiences I had, and social media marketing is what I came up with. I figured I grew my social media presence to a noticeable size, so I could repeat that recipe for others.

While talking to a small business owner and friend, I offered to do his Instagram and Twitter marketing. He accepted. That snowballed to working with another small business and startup on their social media.

Right around this time, I also discovered that many small business owners didn’t know how to build a website. So I added that service to my monthly income. And building websites for people then offering my social media service is a natural transition that people will pay for.

As the traffic on grew to 10,000 to 15,000 views a month, and my social media accounts grew in the tens of thousands of followers, I started receiving advertising deals. When some sponsorships did happen, these made a big push in building my monthly income.

And although it’s technically a byproduct of The Golden Resume, a few college and medical school students paid me for resume coaching. That goes to show all the income streams available after writing a book.


Next, my book How To College came out at the end of August, 2016. This book also become an Amazon bestseller and sold well. I did some different marketing strategies with this one—including selling paperback books for $10 a piece, face to face at the NACAC National College Fair in Cincinnati. And here’s a funny story. When I tried to sell books at a high school college fair, they kicked me out for disturbing the event process—what a joke!

Lastly, my stock dividends kept pouring in this year and growing as I increased my contributions. Compounding interest is one of the most beautiful processes on the planet. Of any of these income streams below, investing in an S&P 500 index fund is by far the easiest and it’s guaranteed to pay dividends quarterly. (Learn more by ordering Freedom Mindset).

Five Figure December: Entrepreneurial Month 24

Date: December 2016

Total Income Streams: 6

1. Book sales

2. Affiliate earnings

3. Media work

4. Blog and social media advertising

5. Coaching

6. Dividends

Now it’s time for the $10,000 month recap.

I didn’t add any new income streams this month. I just doubled down on the current ones to put in more work, and receive more income.

Basically my book royalties, affiliate earnings, advertising, coaching, and dividends all stayed strong and steady in December.

What made the difference is I put in serious hustle in the media work income stream. By media work, this usually covers anything from social media marketing, website building, SEO service, and content writing for clients.

This month, the content writing paid off, literally. Because I worked with a software company to write the content for the apps they needed for a big client. This work didn’t just pay well, the material also educated me and I learned new skills. So I’m grateful for that contract and looking to do more work with the software company in the future.

And I met another entrepreneur who hired me for some extra content writing and SEO service. That also padded the monthly income for a five figure December.

Want to know the icing on the cake? I’m still living at my parent’s place and my business expenses are at $50 in December—which means I’m pocketing close to 100% of that money. (All you young adults who don’t hate your parents and still can, I encourage you to seriously consider living at home to build your nest egg for financial freedom. Or live at home and use that extra money, that would have gone to rent, on travel. I’ll move out soon, but right now I’m 23 and work almost all the time so there’s no need.)

There you have a unique look into my young entrepreneurial journey. You may be wondering, what’s next?

In January 2017, I’m going to announce and launch the online course I’ve been working on for four months. I have a good feeling it’s going to be epic!

Join Me On This Journey

I knew I could take the entrepreneurial jump and succeed all along.

I just had to prove it to myself. And now that I have, I want to you to know you can make a living doing what you love.

Work doesn’t have to be a drag. You don’t have to live for the weekend. You actually can—and should—find satisfaction, purpose, and value from your work.

Work is inherently a good thing. Humans were designed to use our brains and bodies to work. I want to spread this message like wildfire.

To the budding entrepreneurs and everyone else, I encourage you to invest in yourself. Choose the you economy. Don’t rely on a single job, economy, or government, to tell you what you’re worth and what you can do.

I encourage you to become self aware of what you’re passionate about doing. Search for and experiment with work that you would do without the money. When you put enough hard work and time into it, which will be easy when you enjoy it, the money will come.

Now it’s back to work for me. I can’t publish a post in the future named “My First $100K Income Month” and “My First $1 Million Income Month” if I don’t hustle.

Take your success!

Related video: How I Made Over $200,000 In 1 Year At 24 Years Old

Brian Robben

Brian Robben is the founder of Take Your Success, a site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs grow a profitable business and reach freedom. For in-depth training, visit:

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Taylor W.

    Love the post! You’re inspiring, homie!

    1. Brian Robben

      Thanks Taylor! Just trying to hustle out here.

  2. Chris L

    Congrats Brian. Good luck in the future!

    1. Brian Robben

      Good luck to you too Chris. Reach out if we can work on anything in the future.

  3. HP


    I have followed your posts for a few months now. You have some great content and I am inspired by your work. I too have taken the entrepreneurial route and know that the sky is the limit for folks like us. Keep up the grind! I can’t wait to read about your 6 & 7 figure months!

    Best of luck!

    1. Brian Robben

      You’re exactly right, the sky is the limit.

      It’s just a matter of persistence—like Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

  4. Libby Stagnaro

    Brian. Wow. This is so awesome. You’re living the American dream!

    1. Brian Robben

      Thanks for reading Libby!

  5. Nakul Grover

    This is an amazing blogpost.
    And thank you so much for inspiring. It has been over 6 months I’m trying to develop my own website.
    Your post have given me a lot of secrets and hopes..
    Again, thanks Brian.. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Brian Robben

      When you stick with it long enough and give value to people, you’re basically sure to make money. Good luck man!

  6. Erik

    Hey Brian,

    Congrats, 10k in a month is a fantastic accomplishment. You are well on your way to great success in 2017, keep it up!

    It would be interesting to see the breakdown of percentage of each income stream, i.e. 50% from book sales, 10% from dividends, etc.

    Best of luck in the new year!


    1. Brian Robben

      You’re right, that would have been a great addition. If I find the time to squeeze it in, I’ll edit the post and include those. And in the future, I’ll be sure to add those—plus maybe I’ll add specific dollar amounts for each category.

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