In this interview, I had the pleasure of talking with Star Khechara who is also known as “Miss Monetisation”. She tells us how she went from passion to profits – not just once but twice and working on a third!
Star has been a serial and multi-passionate entrepreneur for about 10 years and has monetized various passions. She’s now as a business mentor for health coaches and nutritionists who want to learn how to create passive income. She helps them package their expertise, skills, and knowledge into information products and e-courses. As this is how she’s monetized her expertise in the past, she is very good at it. And of course she has a number of other projects on the go as well.
How Star Took Passion to Profits
Finding her first passion as an entrepreneur wasn’t easy because when you’re multi-passionate, it’s not just that you like a lot of things but you’re also good at a lots of things so it can be a daily struggle to figure out what to do. As a child, Star was interested in nature and plants. Out of that came her interests in nutrition, food, gardening and then in making natural organic skin care. Skin care and nutrition were neck in neck for a while. She had two websites and two businesses. Then the organic skin care side of things started taking off in a big way. She published a book and started to become sort of famous. So she had to choose. She chose the business that was making money – skin care. Her organic skin care business became a global empire and she sold it 2 years ago.
The Long Road to Making Profits
The timeline from passion to profits is often longer than people think.
Star’s book was published in 2008. She had never intended to publish but someone suggested it to her because she was already writing about skin care for magazines for over a decade and wasn’t making any money from it. She had no clue she could make money from it. She was travelling all the time with no internet. She wasn’t even blogging, just writing a free article for magazines every month.
During the day Star would practice her craft because she strongly believes that you need to be good at what you do. So she spends time and effort at getting good in whatever she’s doing.
After the skin care book came out she started getting loads of emails from people saying they wanted to learn about the stuff in the book. They wanted to know if she taught it. After a year of getting these emails, she finally thought maybe she should start teaching what she knew.
All these people were far away, so she thought she could put something together online even though she didn’t know much about the online world. She had already started writing a course for a school which gave her some royalties and she realized she could learn to sell it herself and get all the money.
Star’s first course came out in 2011. She didn’t have a website, or email list, or a social media presence. Her clients came from emails she sent out to the people who had emailed her about their interest. She had them fill out a form and email it back to her and pay by cheque that they had to mail. She didn’t know about Paypal or Mailchimp but her course was really good and that’s what sold it. People trusted her because she had been putting her work out there as a hobby & passion and they started buying. So she started to learn all she could about online tools and implemented new things daily.
Within 2 and ½ years from that first course, she sold the business.
Time For Something New
As a master creator, Star loves to learn, create and getting really good at doing things. By nature, she gets bored if she’s doing the same thing over and over again.
After 15 years working in and writing about skin care, Star sold her business.
She was told you can’t sell an online micro business. Experts were saying it wasn’t a business, just a blog. But she was bringing in 5 figures a month, it wasn’t just a blog! Since everyone was saying no, she had to create a strategy and figure out who she could sell to. She determined that it would need to be someone like her with a passion for the industry who was tech savvy.
She approached the top graduate from her course because she was just as knowledgeable as Star. She said no at first but after a year, Star persuaded her to buy as she had built up the business even more during that time and tightened processes.
Once she sold the business, with money in the bank, Star took hiatus from doing work and then thought she was going to move back into her food business. It had been dormant and she wanted to bring back her passion for nutrition.
But then she joined Marie Forleo’s B-School and noticed lots of people struggling with the implementation side of online businesses. She helped them by putting out free training for how to use various technical tools. And when she launched a paid course – E-course Entrepreneur – instantly, people were buying it.
So she fell into educating entrepreneurs online. Now this business has settled down a bit and is running more on autopilot.
Star’s Advice on Finding or Choosing Your Passion
Star doesn’t think it’s a case of finding your passion as such. The passion is already there but you forget to notice it. If you start feeling envious – e.g. of someone doing well in a field – then it’s not really envy, it’s your body telling you, you should really be doing that thing. You don’t get envious of something you don’t care about. Those feelings that we may dismiss as horrible feelings. Pay attention to them.If you start feeling envious, it’s your body telling you you should really be doing that thing. ~ @StarKhechara
Your passion is probably something you’ve been doing from a young age but you may not have seen it as that. It likely can be monetized in multiple ways. And it’s the stuff you would do if you weren’t being paid.
If you have many passions, it doesn’t matter which one you choose, just pick one. Star had 2 or 3 websites and went with the one that was most profitable at the time. You’ve got a whole life to monetize those passions, you’re not going to miss out. The other stuff will still be there.
Star’s Take on How to Turn Passion to Profits
There are so many options these days to get noticed. Video is an especially great way to get what you do out there as people resonate more with video. You can interact with people live through Blab, Periscope or webinars. There are so many ways to get your voice into a crowd.
At first not many people will show up but eventually they will. Just ask yourself, “How can I connect with one person today?” Keep it small. You don’t have to build a 10,000 person list in an hour. It takes time for people to get to know you and what you stand for. Hone in on your one passion for now and be consistent with putting that out there.
With one person a day, at the end of the year you’ve connected with over at least 300 people. This will always be a lot more because when you connect with one person, you connect with several.
Take the pressure off yourself. Don’t get overwhelmed – one a day is all you need. Your name is going to start being out there.Just ask yourself: How can I connect with one person today? ~@StarKhechara
How to Build Passive Income
The first step is really to determine what kind of passive income suits someone. It could be stock photography or music or e-courses or masterclasses. It will be different for each person.
As Star puts it, so much of the passive income world has been dominated by sleazy dudes. Sleazy dudes who say “knock off some course, put it on Clickbank and make money.”
Star comes at it from the other side. Make something very high quality and be known for that. There are too many rubbish information products, don’t be one of the people creating them. Showcase your expertise and you can use it to become a leader in your field and monetize yourself in many different ways
Many entrepreneurs worry about creating freebies that are valuable. They are scared that they won’t be able to sell programs if they put their stuff into freebies.
Star always puts quality into her freebies, they are the same quality and level as something she would charge a thousand dollars for. When she created her free Mailchimp course she made video walkthroughs and made it as high quality as she was able to. With no list in this area, her freebie got her 400 people on her list in a week.
Star believes it’s really important that a freebie address one issue. “How to get more clients” or “How to be happy” are not very specific. Make it specific – address one problem.
Star’s freebie showcased her expertise as someone who can build courses and deliver educational material. From her list of 400, 120 people bought from her when she launched her e-course for entrepreneurs. A 25 % conversion!
And you don’t have to keep your freebie free forever. Star had a free 10-day challenge that she turned into a paid program a month later and made $12,000.
Final Words of Wisdom
Just do it – don’t listen to people who say it can’t be done. There is no greater asset than your brain, it is valuable to other people. Don’t be afraid to put something out there and sell it. Even if it doesn’t go well, you’ll learn. You’ll be glad you started.
Know that you’re good at something and put it out there and start being visible daily. And ask yourself “How can I reach one person today?”