How I made 6 figures my first year

(and kept it up!)

By: Sarah Dew Whitsett

There is one question I get asked a lot. Probably at least once a month by prospective clients, current clients, and even people I randomly meet.

Some people ask me outright, some people turn their head, whisper and ask me quietly.

How did you make 6 figures in your first year? How did you do it with kids? How do you keep it up?

It always makes me nervous to answer because I don’t want anyone to think that if they do the exact same thing I did, that they will instantly have the same outcome.

But I do know that it is possible and I have many friends and colleagues who have accomplished the same thing. There were things I tried out that I realized didn’t work. There are things I tried that I wished I had “known better” before I did it. But each thing I tried helped me grow.

I also know how challenging it was and part of me wants to protect folks from having to work so hard and so diligently at something. I know that sounds nuts. Part of me envisions an easily attainable goal and wants to protect others from the struggle.

But, the struggle is where the growth is right? There is no growth or change without friction.

So I will share with you what I have done to create 6 figures every year in my business for over 10 years – and this is a very similar story to anyone I have seen generate 6 figures or more.  Techniques differ with each person based on their personalities so don’t focus too much on my choice of marketing techniques.

By nature, I am very ambitious and have a lot of energy. I focused on online marketing and created  A LOT of content, posted on social media, did a lot of email marketing, ran webinars that lead to programs, actively pursued online speaking opportunities, and built a robust follow up campaign to retain connections. I had a great method to follow up with allies, connections, and past clients, networked in person at least once a week, and gave talks whenever anyone would have me.

Things to note –

1) This was brand new to me so I hired a business coach for about 25K a year to teach me how to do all of these things (no I didn’t have any revenue at the time when I hired her). I worked with her for 3 years and it was invaluable, she taught me how to make money on my own.  

2) I made over 6 figures every year – I probably invested about 50 of that each of my first 3-4 years back into the business.

3) You can change the technique however you want, for example if you don’t like in person talks, no problem, do online talks or presentations. Don’t like writing? No problem, do video instead.  The key is getting in front of people and then having a system to follow up with them.  
The differential between those who “are successful” and those that aren’t, is the sheer number of people they get in front of to share their message and ensuring that they have a system to follow up with them. THAT IS IT. It really comes down to clear communication, numbers, and asking them to work with you.  

So now you know. I am happy to answer any other questions you may have, just shoot me an email.

Oh, Stella would be upset if I didn’t mention that when I first started I had 3 kiddos under 4 when I began this adventure. I am a master at juggling responsibilities and no, I don’t get worn out. This is the stuff that lights me up.


Sarah is cofounder and strategist at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She’s all action and no beating around the bush. A former intensive care unit nurse, if you look closely, you’ll see her continuing to run triage in her work with clients now. It’s in her bones. Sarah’s ears are tuned to the efficient and effective use of time, money, and effort, and which actions need to be taken in which order to get the result you want.

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