Many of us in the WordPress world want to create a life that we're in charge of.
Some of us freelance for clients or sell digital products using WordPress. Others run online shops or manage a small businesses via our websites.
One of the reasons to grow an online business is to gain the flexibility to work on your own terms.
Rob Cubbon is one of the few who's escaped the world of the monotonous cubicle and runs a successful online business in digital products.
Rob is an Amazon bestselling author, online teacher, graphic designer and slacker-turned-entrepreneur. In 2006, he felt like he was wasting his life away on a string of mundane office jobs. Since 2008, Rob has been working from home earning money doing what he loves. Not to mention he's now traveling the world!
I got the chance to sit down with Rob and pick his brain. We hope it will give you some of the tools you need to start out on your own too.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
I'm a 48-year-old single, divorced male from the UK currently living the life of Riley in Thailand. Over ten years ago I started a website and an online business. I'm not a millionaire, but I have been able to support myself with my business whilst travelling for the last 2 years.
2. What moment did you realize that you had to transition away your office job to work for yourself?
Whenever it was, it should have been earlier. For years and years I went to work in "mundane office jobs" thinking that there was no alternative and that I had to do that. I was brainwashed by the culture there.
There was a moment when I began to turn things around and that was the moment I said to myself, "My well-being is not dependent on external influences (fate, luck, environment, etc.) If I can change my thinking, actions, attitudes, habits, etc., I can change my life!"
Whether that's true or not, I don't know. But it worked for me!
3. Traveling the world and being your own boss sounds great, but I'm sure it's difficult at times. What's the hardest part of what you do?
Going back to the UK. No, only joking! Really, I can't complain about anything in my life. If getting bitten by mosquitoes or occasionally suffering slow wifi are "difficulties," then they are the worst things.
4. What makes the income you earn passive? Why is this passive piece so important?
Passive income isn't income you earn without working - it's income you earn that's scalable. This is important because in the future, if executed correctly, the hours you work will pay you 100x or more what they pay you now.
5. What first got you into WordPress? How did you learn enough to fully run your own website?
I was very lucky that someone suggested I use it in 2005. Up until then, I'd been fiddling around with HTML. The penny dropped in 2006 when I realized how WordPress made it easier to create websites once I'd spent the time to learn the ins and outs.
I stay up-to-date on everything WordPress from free online content and asking questions in forums.
6. Why did you build your own site on WordPress as opposed to using something like Squarespace or Wix?
I don't think Squarespace or Wix were around in 2005? Anyway, I got lucky because someone recommended WordPress to me. I remember looking into Joomla, Drupal and others options at the time (fortunately, not for long). WordPress is the right choice for 95% of entrepreneurs' websites!
7. What 5 WordPress plugins do you use that have the most positive effect on making your business successful?
My 5 favorites would be:
8. What's your motivation for publicly releasing your passive income earnings every quarter?
Originally, the motivation was the perennial need to create interesting content for SEO purposes. As time went on, it fulfilled other needs. It inspires and helps other entrepreneurs which is something that makes me happy! But to be honest, I found the notoriety and acclaim that went with it something I really enjoyed.
But not all the feedback I got was positive. I got a lot of negativity with people telling me I was making too much money or that I was boasting. Some even told me I was making too little money and doing things wrong, or that I was a liar and I was a scammer. So as of now, I'm not doing them anymore.
9. It's easy to see from your website that you produce a lot of content in many different mediums. How do you find time to get it all done?
I don't work particularly hard at all. I just do a little bit every day. With books, I write a few hundred words everyday and at the end of the month I have a book finished. With video, I record 5-10 minutes a day and by the end of the month I have a course done.
I've been blogging for 10 years and I think to be successful, it really helps if you take the time to develop the "content creation muscle".
10. What mobile app(s) are you really into right now (for business or pleasure).
Google Maps! Not very exciting, but it's by far the most useful for me. 🙂
There's a reason Rob's been so successful running his own online business. Check out some of his offering and take the first step towards becoming your own boss and living a life of freedom!
Hi! It means a lot to me that you wanted to know who wrote this. I’m the Head Buff at WP Buffs. I also run WPMRR, a robust video course that teaches WordPress professionals how to implement, sell and execute ongoing care plans for their clients and increase their revenue every single month. Or if you want some freebies, check out our free speed and security ebooks, webinars for WordPress professionals, WordPress blog or WordPress podcast all about building monthly recurring revenue. Boom!