Episode 45

Starting an Online Business for Less than $100 [ Sarah St. John]

by | May 19, 2021 | Podcast

Do you have the money to start an online business? Well, surprise, you don’t really need a lot. Sarah St. John runs her own brand Frugalpreneur and aims to help others start their own business on a budget. In this episode Sarah shares her story of getting started, and tips that you can use to start your own business with very little money invested.

Nick (00:01): This is the Nine-Five Podcast. And I'm your host, Nick Nalbach where we get into the minds of entrepreneurs and people just like you. So you can start, build and grow your own online business.

Nick (00:19): All right, welcome back to the Nine-Five Podcast. This is the show where we bring on entrepreneurs and business owners to help you better start and grow your own business. And today with me, I have Sarah St. John. Sarah, welcome to the Nine-Five Podcast.

Sarah (00:33): Well, thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it. Absolutely.

Nick (00:36): I'm really excited. A lot of the stuff that you're doing with your business is very similar to what I'm trying to do with mine. So I'm really excited to kind of talk about this, to give the listeners a little bit of an idea of what that is. Why don't you tell everyone who you are and what it is you're doing in this online entrepreneur space?

Sarah (00:53): Sure. Yeah, so, um, I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2008. I had had six different jobs that year, not at the same time, but over the course of the year and realized that I wanted to work for myself at some point. And so I started a photography business on the side, but I realized the expense to maintain it was just, it was getting expensive. And so I decided I wanted to move into an online business model, um, because it would be a lot more affordable. So I tried a bunch of different things like drop shipping, affiliate, marketing, blogging, and it was through that process that I discovered all these free or affordable tools and resources that someone can use to run an online business. And so I decided to write a book called Frugalpreneur. Um, and then I launched a podcast also called Frugalprenuer and basically what those are, are, they just kind of goes through the different types of online business models and how to run them affordably and on a budget.

Sarah (01:55): Cause I try to run all my businesses for under a hundred a month total. So that's kinda what it's about. Um, you know, side hustles to, you know, hopefully at some point leaving your nine to five, like, um, like you focus on and whatnot. So that's what I'm doing now. And, um, what's funny is the podcast was supposed to be just, you know, like 10 episodes or something to help kind of market the book. But I ended up getting more traction and leverage with the podcast than the book. So I've kept that up and, and I've created a podcast production agency and all this stuff because I was editing my own podcast and I was like, why not get paid to do it for other people? So yeah, that's what I'm doing now.

Nick (02:38): That's awesome. The podcasting has been a huge topic on this podcast lately because I've been pushing it so hard. I think since before I started this podcast, I thought you had to have this big audience. And that was the only way that you were going to be able to grow a podcast is if you already had the audience and you brought them over and after starting, it's been such an amazing journey getting to get on an interview with people like you and just chat with other experts in their industries is such a cool thing. And I found that I'm actually growing an audience because of the podcast, not the other way around, like I thought so I think that's, that's so cool that you mentioned that that actually helped you grow your audience and that gained the most traction. So, um, I'm really excited with this episode today to get into some ideas and tactics for starting a business on a budget. But before we do that, I want to something I do with all the guests I bring on the show, I asked them what their super power is and by super power. I mean like what does that one thing that you think you were just a rockstar ad or you just think you crush it in this area?

Sarah (03:41): I would say one thing I've really noticed in recent years is the ability to like, someone might be talking to me about something and they might not even be entrepreneurial, but I'm like, have you thought about writing a book about that? Or have you thought about creating a course or have you thought about like, I, I I'm able to see and other people like their talents or their specialties, are there just ways in which they could monetize? I guess you could say their expertise. Like I actually have a friend who does, who makes cakes. She has a cake business on the side, the regular full-time job and then does cakes. And of course she makes, you know, money doing that. But the other day I was actually like, have you thought about creating courses on like teaching other people how to make cakes or even have their own cake business, because then once you get the course done, then it's like passive prep, practically passive income, whereas her service business or making cakes that's very time, you know, uh, centered or inducive. So yeah, just coming up with different ideas for helping people figure out how to monetize their expertise, even if they had never even thought about that.

Nick (04:53): That's really cool. And it's something like when you're focusing on what you're doing and you're in the moment, it can be very difficult to think, how do I do this? But having a third party, having someone like you come in and be able to look at it from an outside lens can really make a huge difference in bring a lot of ideas to the table that you might not have ever thought of that I think that's awesome that you're able to kind of have that outside perspective and be able to give people advice on that. That's an awesome superpower. So we kind of talked about it a little bit before you started Frugalpreneur, everything that you were doing, what made you want to get into entrepreneurship in the first place? Like was there a, a shining moment where you're like, this is what I need to do or was it just kind of,

Sarah (05:35): Well, I feel like I've always been an entrepreneur on some level, because I remember as a kid, I would get stuff that I would give her free, like pencils and candy and whatnot and sell them to my friends. And so, but then, so I think it's kind of always been there, but I didn't really, I mean, once I got into school and all, you know, it's very much pushed, like to go to college and to get a certain degree in a nine to five and all this stuff. And so that's kind of the route I went because that's just like the only thing you're told to do. And so, but it wasn't until I started having several nine to fives that I was like, Hmm, I don't think this route is the best route for me in the, you know, permanently in the long haul.

Sarah (06:19): I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do to pay bills, at least while you're getting your side hustle or your business going. But I was like, I don't think working for someone, else's what I want to do her permanently. So I guess 2008 probably then was the year when I had all those jobs that I was like, I want to do something for myself, but it took over a decade really of trying a bunch of different things to get where I am now with like all things podcasting. And so yeah, it can take time.

Nick (06:47): Well, yeah, it definitely can. I mean, it's, it sounds like you, you took a very similar approach that I'm currently taking right now and how I kind of started this whole nine five brand, that same type of thing. I knew the nine to five, wasn't something that I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. So I knew I had to do something else. And when I found this thing called entrepreneurship, I was like, Holy cow, like anybody can do this. And then it became like, okay, I need to try a little bit of everything. Like I was like, okay, I'm going to do this. Oh no, I have to do this. That's how I'm going to get a lot of money and get that financial freedom everyone's chasing. And it's like, kind of, I feel like everyone kind of goes through that like shiny object syndrome when they're just starting out.

Nick (07:25): Cause they're like looking for what's clicking and ones that does click. And it's like, okay, this is what I need to focus in on. But that's a, a huge hurdle. I think for a lot of people is getting over that like, okay, this is what I need to focus in on and not chase the next shiny object. So what was it that like, kind of, you were obviously trying a bunch of different things. What was the thing that you were like, why did you gravitate towards like the podcasting in the Frugal maneuver? Like what made you settle on that and not continue chasing the next thing?

Sarah (07:53): Yeah. And it's funny, you mentioned shiny object syndrome because I talk about that quite a bit because I think as entrepreneurs, that's something that we tend to do. And I was doing that. Um, I think with podcasting, I guess, because, you know, it's interesting because I had only started listening to podcasts maybe like a year or something before I started my own. And before I started listening to podcasts, when people would talk about it, I was like, Oh, that doesn't sound interesting to me. Cause I was big into listening to music all the time. And like I hate talk radio and whatever. Anytime a commercial comes on, I changed the channel. Well, what I love about podcasts though, once I did try it out was how niche down it is and how like specific, you can find a podcast on almost anything now. And most of the time there's not commercials, but if there are, they're usually targeted and whatnot.

Sarah (08:43): And so it's just a completely different experience than radio. So I love listening to podcasts and I was doing that more than music at that point. And then when I started my own podcast, the, you know, it initially just kind of a marketing tactic, I guess, to spread the word about the book really. But when I saw that I was getting more leverage from the podcast and plus the connections I was making and I was like, wow, this podcasting thing. Yeah. And then once COVID, you know, and we were working from home and things like that, and I had all this extra time on my hands without a commute and all that kind of thing. I was doing a whole bunch of podcasts and it's kind of like once the ball starts rolling, it just picks up steam and you make more connections and so-and-so might know so-and-so.

Sarah (09:32): And, and I feel like it's a tight knit community too. Like everybody, even if it's technically a com I mean, cause I suppose your podcast technically would be kind of a comp competing with mine sort of, cause it's kind of a similar, but like no one views it that way, you know, like people, yeah. People, everyone gets along and no one use each other as competition, more like friends and um, and I love all the collaborations that can take place. And I don't know if you're on clubhouse, um, or if you've heard of it, it's a new social app. Like, so, um, I'm thinking of ways like how can I collaborate with people on there? And yeah. So I just, I think, I think the reason podcasting stuck with me is probably a couple of reasons. One is the connections and friendships that I've been making through it. And then I would say, I guess just the exposure and how quickly you're able to gain an audience and things like that. Like, cause everything else I did, I mean the only way to get the word out really was through ads and that didn't work that well. Um, maybe I just wasn't doing them. Right. But, um, so yeah, I just find that podcasting has just been the best medium for me.

Nick (10:46): Yeah. That's, that's really interesting. So I know a lot of people have had kind of a, an opposite effect for the podcasts kind of a slow build and that's kind of, I went into it with that entire expectation that, okay, I'm probably going to have like two people listen to that first episode. Maybe if I'm lucky and then it's not my parents or something. I was really surprised. Like people end up reaching out and they're like, Hey, I actually found your podcast. Like I found you from the podcast or I'll add them on Twitter or something like that. They're like, Oh my God, I can't believe you added me. I was just listening to your podcast. It's like, that's so weird that people can find you that easily. From it

Sarah (11:22): One example I have of that actually I was a guest on someone's podcast and he was telling me how he was talking to somebody else and how he was like, yeah, I'm going to have about doing an interview with Sarah St. John. And that other person said, Oh Sarah St. John, the Frugal pronou or she's great. I'm like, well, who is that person thinking? It must be someone I know. Or, and he gave me the name of the person I had never heard of this person. So it was just interesting how, like there, you don't know who's listening to you. And then all of a sudden, all the blue people are like, Oh, I heard your podcast, whatever. So

Nick (11:56): Yeah, that's, that's so cool. It's such an amazing experience. The whole podcasting thing. Now I kind of want to talk about the progression of the Frugalpreneur because it, I mean, you, I guess, first of all, where, where did this all start? Like where take me to the very beginning of Frugal or how did you start building this thing?

Sarah (12:14): So the, I can remember I was in a Dave Ramsey class. I don't know if you're familiar with him, but he has a class called financial peace and it's about like paying off debt and savings and all this stuff. And I was sitting there thinking, okay, all these ideas are great, but what about making more money? And the word Frugalpreneur came to my head and I was like, huh. And I had already been doing a bunch of different online businesses at that point, but I was like, I wonder if I launched a brand called Frugal prenuer and wrote a book? Well, actually I don't think I had plans for it to be a brand. It was just going to be a book initially. Um, and it was basically talking about all the different online business models and how to run them affordably. But then I started the podcast and it, it was really the podcast that created the brand, I think. And so, yeah, that's kind of when that started, I'm trying to think when that would have been, that would have been, let's see the part, the podcast started April, 2019, but I think the idea for the book and all that stuff, I want to say it was January or February of 2018. So yeah. I started writing the book right away and then launched the podcast with the book and then it just kind of went from there. So I guess yeah, about three years then.

Nick (13:28): Awesome. That's really cool. And then now, I mean, you've turned it into an even bigger thing. Like you have courses, you have a saw like an e-commerce store, you had a whole bunch of stuff going on now. So how did, how did that work going from the book, the podcast, and then all of a sudden you got all these courses, like what, what kind of brought you to that point?

Sarah (13:48): Uh, well actually I just have one course right now, uh, on, I'm still working on it, uh, called podcast profit pro, and so, okay. So I wrote the book for entrepreneur and then I wrote another book called Authorpreneur about the process of self-publishing. Well then once the podcast was going strong, I was like, well, I guess I should write a book called podcasts for newer. And so, but then when I started doing that, then I was like, Oh, I should launch a course. And it was actually going to come out with the book, but that didn't happen. Um, I'm still working on it actually, because it takes time to, you know, record and edit videos and all that kind of stuff. And so, um, so just the one course, but yeah, I've had, uh, the e-commerce store or are you referring to like the, the entrepreneurial shirts and stuff or the baby ones?

Nick (14:36): The merge fits on there.

Sarah (14:38): Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. So, and actually, so the way that works is I use T public. And so other than the t-shirt, that's like my podcast cover art, everything else in there, actually someone else designed and the way they work is when you create a shop. Yeah. You create your own shop, but put other people's designs in there. And so then like if it sells through your shop, they get a commission basically. And then of course you get whatever commission as well. Um, so I thought that was a really interesting way to do it. And I was able to create that soar in like a day and add all those. I just searched certain phrases or words that I wanted, you know, shirts on. And so, yeah,

Nick (15:17): Now that since you've started Frugalpreneur, and you've got this thing going, what does a typical day look like for you?

Sarah (15:23): Oh, so usually like the first hour of the day I spend catching up on email, social media, um, looking through, cause I think we met probably through a podcast, um, matching website. And so I go through those different ones. There's like five different ones I could go to and catch up on messages there and whatnot, but I try to limit all that stuff to about an hour. Cause it's easy to get caught up in all that and spend, you know, forever. Um, so then once all that's done, then I usually start like, I'll record or I'll edit a podcast usually. Um, or I'll do some kind of training or education. Um, I take a lot of courses myself or in different memberships and whatnot, so, or I'll read or, and then, um, but of course client stuff as well, like I don't have like a set, I guess, outlined for each day, but that's typically what I do is I spend the first hour or so going through, you know, email and social media and things like that and move on to other things like editing or whatnot. Okay.

Nick (16:28): No, that makes a lot of sense. Now I really want to get into some of the tactics that you're using to kind of help others start their own online businesses. And you're saying you help them or your main focus is keeping within a hundred dollars, which blows my mind. So let's kinda, let's talk strategy here. What if someone were to try to start a business today and they didn't have a lot of cash on them, where would we?

Sarah (16:53): Yeah. So the first thing of course would be to figure out what you want to do. And a lot of people probably don't know what they want to do right away. So like I think reading the book for GoPro preneur helps because it gives people ideas on different types of online businesses. They can start, but once someone figures out what they want to try, um, the first thing I would do is get a website going. Um, I think a lot of people think that just having a Facebook page is all they need, but it's important to have social media, but the problem is the algorithms change all the time. Who knows if it'll even be around and a decade or whatever, cause MySpace like disappeared over night. So who knows what Facebook and whatnot. And I think only like one for one to 2% of your audience even sees your posts unless you boost it and all of that.

Sarah (17:40): So, and you can't get email addresses really from that either to market, to people. So definitely have your own website. And so you would need a domain of course, um, which I get all mine for a dollar@oneandone.com and then I'm creating, you know, you create a logo for free in Canva or pay someone $5 in Fiverr. Um, and then I would recommend then getting an email list started. Uh, I think that's one big mistake. A lot of people make when they're starting out as they don't start. The email is still who knows how much after the fact, but what I use for email is called sinned Fox. And when I first signed up, it was like free up to 3000 subscribers. And now it's, I think 1000, but, um, so I like that it's free up to a certain point, but for content creators, especially for like podcasters or bloggers or YouTube burrs, what's nice about it is that you can put in your YouTube link or your RSS feed and it'll automatically generate weekly newsletters based on your latest podcast episode or whatever, and send that out for you.

Sarah (18:50): So it saves a lot of time. Um, so I would say, you know, those are the first things when someone gets started, definitely get a website and an email list going, and then depending on what business model doing, uh, the extra expenses, we'll kind of like if you're going to go into podcasting, I recommend getting a mic. I have an ATR 2100, which was only like 60 or 80 bucks. Um, I think a lot of people assume that it's expensive to start a podcast because they're thinking of broadcast studio equipment, but you know, I got started for under a hundred. So, um, and yeah, that's, that's what I would do starting out. Of course, if you're like a coach or a blogger or something like that, I mean, really all you need is a website and an email list. Um, and I suppose some kind of way to schedule appointments, like a Calendly type of thing, you know, things like that. So there's like little software programs here and there you might need, but yeah, for the most part it's, it's really affordable to get started. Um, and like for me, I maintain, I think more like 40 to $60 now a month is what I've gotten it down to. Um, but yeah,

Nick (19:56): So once, like I agree with what you're saying there, it doesn't have to take a lot of money. Um, I had not heard of that one in one. So for everybody listening here, Sarah does rattle off a bunch of tools and resources. I will put links to all of those in the show notes for this page. So don't think he got to like jot all these down really quick. I will put them in the show notes for you guys. Um, one a one-on-one is interesting to me. I did not know that existed. I had always gotten my domains through blue hosts. I just would get the hosting and the domain all from there, but I'll have to definitely check out one-on-one cause there's, I've been wanting to pick up more domains and I just haven't because I didn't want to spend more money. So yeah, I really love what you're saying.

Nick (20:37): Like it doesn't have to cost a lot of money and I'm using the Samsung Q2 you microphone, and it's basically the equivalent of what you have and yeah, it's, it's the same, like 60 bucks, super easy. You can definitely start in front of a hundred dollars. So I love that. Now after, after you've got all that set up, you've got the website, maybe you got, you're using Calendly, you're bringing it in. You have a way for people to schedule calls with you. How do you start getting your name out there, obviously building a website and getting an up people aren't automatically just going to come to you. So we have to find a way to get ourselves in our name, out to the world. How do we, how do we start doing that?

Sarah (21:14): Um, so a couple of things, um, one good way, whether you have your own podcast or not, uh, would be to be a guest on other people's podcasts, because then you're basically leveraging their audience. Like if, if you're on someone's podcast and it's likely that their audience is going to, it's an irrelevant topic to their audience. And so that's definitely one way. And one reason I've stuck with podcasting and am all in on that because of the exposure that that gives, whether you, I mean, even if you have your own podcast, I definitely recommend guesting on other podcasts as well. And I would say another thing would be of course, to get your email list going, but you know, how do you get that going besides, you know, running ads, Facebook ads, to like a lead magnet, would you could do that? Um, that's one way, another way is what I like to do is like viral giveaways.

Sarah (22:09): And I use Kingson King Sumo for that, um, which is actually the same company that does send Fox. And it's a, it's a free program, but, um, you can give away something and people, you know, put in their email address, which then can add it to your email list. Um, and then you can award them so many extra entries for whatever else you want them to do. Like you could say like me on Facebook, watch this video, share this by email, listen to this podcast episode, whatever you can set it up, um, to us to assign a certain point by you, I guess, extra entries. Um, so I found that that's one good way to grow an email list. The key though is to not give away something that everyone and their dog would want, like an iPhone, for example, because as soon as you that giveaway is over, all those people are going to drop off or they're not even your relevant people.

Sarah (23:06): So what I do is I give away a book every month, some sort of entrepreneurial book, um, and I found that for someone to give up their email address for the possibility to win a $20 book, then they're pretty targeted. Like when, when you're giving away books on, you're like I give away like Russell Brunson books and PatFlynn and all that. And so I think that's a good way. And, and, and another way kind of along those lines, I don't know if you're familiar with pod decks, third, like, um, they're basically a deck of cards that you can ask people. Like at the beginning, a podcast interview,

Nick (23:46): I actually just interviewed Travis like a couple days ago, talking about pod to X.

Sarah (23:54): Oh, awesome. Yeah. I've interviewed him before too. And what I worked out with him was he gave me some, or asked him if I could have some free pod decks to give away, like when his episode goes live, and then he would email out his list of people who already are familiar with, Bondex saying, Hey, I'm on the show. She's giving away some pod decks go sign up, but then they go to my landing page or, well, I guess it was the giveaway, um, to sign up. And so basically now I have a whole bunch of people from his email list now on my email list, which were pretty similar audiences as far as podcasting goes. And so, yeah, so I would say like collaboration with other people, like when you're giving away something or there's other ways to collaborate too, but, um, and basically leveraging the her email list or their podcast audience or whatever. And then that really can grow your email list. And then once you get your email list to, you know, a few hundred or something, then, you know, it's should be easy enough to get a client here or there a sale here or there. Yeah.

Nick (25:03): Yeah. I love that. The collaboration side of things is a perfect example of how to really grow that business because when you're starting, you don't have an audience. And the best way to grow an audience is exactly what you're talking about, leveraging the audience that other people have. And if people like that are willing to engage with you and collaborate with you and kind of open up your audience to them, that's great. Like that's a great way to grow that. Um, you touched on podcasting. That was actually back in episode 31 and 32. We talked about guest podcasting and how that can be a huge way to grow your audience because you're again, leveraging their audience. And yeah, it was episode 31 and 32 when we talked about how to land guest spots. And we actually interviewed Madison of wild casts. That's where we ended up meeting was through wild cast and talked about her platform and how they're connecting podcasts with guests. So definitely go check that out. Podcasting. I think it's a great way, even if you're not quite comfortable getting in front of a camera or talking with people it's really low stakes. Like this interview is not live. Some will do live some won't, but it's not live. So if you screw up, it's easily edited out. Like it's really low stakes and it's just having a conversation with somebody and who doesn't love a great conversation with awesome people.

Sarah (26:25): Yeah, exactly. Like the one we're having,

Nick (26:28): Although we're dealing with some crazy technical difficulties here, which is kind of frustrating, we're making it through. Okay. So we're getting pretty close here to the end of this episode, but I, to give you an opportunity to kind of let everyone know what you have going on with Frugal, preneur the courses, and we obviously talked about the book, but what is the course and what do you offer for people that are interested in working with you?

Sarah (26:56): Sure. Yeah. So, uh, the podcast Frugal, preneur, you can find it in any podcast directory, just search that word and it'll come up. Um, and then as far as the course goes, it's called podcast profit pro and I'm currently still working on it, but I do have it up for presale at like an 80% discount. And currently that's at podcast pro way podcast, profit pro.thinkific.com. But at some point it's just going to be podcast profit, grow.com. I'm working on that. And then, um, uh, my podcast production agency is pod scene that's P O D S E a m.com. And basically that's where someone just records an episode. Cause I think one big problem people have with podcasting. It isn't so much the recording that people have an issue with. I mean, other than the fact we're having issues today, but, um, but for the most part, it's not that the recording isn't an issue, but, um, it's all the post-production, that's an issue like the editing and producing and social media and show notes and all that. So basically someone will just send me their recording and then I do all the editing, producing the show notes, the transcript, the audio gram, all that stuff. And then, um, Oh, and then my three books I give away for free at the PDF version at the Sarah St. john.com forward slash free and that Sarah with an H and then S T J O H N. But yeah, so that's, and then I'm everywhere on social pretty much at these years, St. John's clubhouse at Sarah St. John.

Nick (28:30): Now, what would be some last minute tips or advice that you want to give less parting words with the listeners and with anybody who's interested in starting their own business?

Sarah (28:43): Okay. So a couple things we kind of touched on earlier was the shiny object syndrome. Um, I mean, I think that's okay to a certain extent, but I mean, I wasted probably a decade doing that, doing one thing after the next. So I think definitely, uh, once you find that thing and that you really enjoy, and you can find profit potential and whatnot, that you could see yourself doing forever, um, you know, go for it a hundred percent and stop getting sidetracked by all these other things. So that's one thing. Um, another thing that I would say is it's important, you know, for education, like to be reading books and courses and listening to podcasts and all of that to educate yourself, but at a certain point, you need to start implementing what you're learning because of all you're doing is learning and never implementing then it's pointless.

Sarah (29:33): And so that was one struggle that I've had is that I spend so much time learning and then not enough time implementing what I'm. And, um, so I try for every hour I spend learning, I try to spend another hour implementing. So I would say that those are, um, some of the big issues that it's probably pretty common, I would say for new entrepreneurs. Um, and then I guess another thing would be my personal advice would be to not like quit your day job, your nine to five, um, right out the gate. Like I recommend starting something kind of as a side hustle, as extra income. And then until it matches your day job income, or at least gets to the point where it can pay your bills. For sure. Then, you know, you can start thinking about, uh, doing that full time, but I definitely wouldn't personally recommend, you know, jumping ship from the get go, right? When you start a

Nick (30:29): Yeah. That I love that those are all excellent tips, the educating and implementing that. That's something that is huge. I want everyone to like listen to that because there was some stat I'm working on a course myself and there was a stat I was talking with someone about and they said that 80% of people that buy a course won't either finish the course or implement what they've done with the course. And 80% might even be a little high is in terms of like, I think it's, it's more than 80% that don't finish the course. And that, that just kinda blew my mind and thinking about it, like I've taken courses that I either sit through or make it most of the way through and then just don't end up finishing or following through on what I'm supposed to be doing that I'm learning from the course.

Nick (31:11): So I think that is just huge. And one thing I've actually learned, I started reading the lean startup and in the lean startup, they talk about just in time learning. So that means you're learning things. As you need to know it, not consuming all this information that you might not need for the next couple of months instead look at the problems that you're facing right now find the solution to that one problem. And then when you come across your next problem, find the solution to that one problem. And then that just keeps you moving and progressing instead of getting halted by just taking in all this information that you're probably gonna have to come back and relearn anyway.

Sarah (31:48): Yeah. That's I actually have that book. I haven't started reading it yet cause I have, I don't know, I probably have a hundred books that I need to read. Um, I try to go through one a week or so, but, um, but I've heard that concept before about the, um, let's see, what did you call it? The learn as you go or whatever. Um, and I think that's great and Oh yeah, just-in-time learning. I think that's great. And I kind of wish I had, you know, learn that before I started.

Nick (32:19): Yeah. Well, Sarah, I want to thank you for coming on. Thank you for bearing with me. Hopefully the listeners on the other end, won't hear the technical difficulties that we've gone through recording this thing, but I just want to thank you for taking the time and coming on and sharing your knowledge with us. So yeah. Thanks. Thank you for being a part of this.

Sarah (32:38): Well so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Nick (32:41): Oh, you keep crushing it. I'm excited to see when that course finally launches and see how well this does for you. Oh, well thank you.

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Hosts & Guests

Host – Nick Nalbach

Guest – Sarah St. John

Links & Resources

Note: Some of the links listed below may be affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase through them.

Connect with Sarah

Tools and Resources to Run Your Business on a Budget

  • Purchase a domain name: 1and1 (recently rebranded to IONOS) – What Sarah uses
  • Bluehost is another place you can look for domains – What I use
  • Create all your social media, logos, and branding images with Canva
  • If you’re looking to start outsourcing some of your work or need help with certain aspects of your business, Fiverr is a cheap and quick way to get help
  • Making booking calls with clients easy with Calendlythis is what I use for booking all my podcast guests!
  • Grow your audience and email list by running giveaways with KingSumo

Additional Resources and Links Mentioned

  • Learn how to grow your brand through podcasting with Podcast Profit Pro
  • Already have a podcast? Let Podseam take care of the editing for you
  • Learn how to start a business with a minimum viable product (MVP) by reading The Lean Startup

If you haven’t done this already, go leave a review of the Nine-Five Podcast over on iTunes!


Show Notes

The lack of large capital holds many people back from starting their own business.

“But I don’t have a TON of money sitting aside to start my own business.”

In many cases, this is either a limiting belief OR this is an excuse for not starting.

The truth is, you don’t need a pile of money to get started. Take today’s guest Sarah St. John as an example.

Sarah currently runs her brand Frugelpreneur on roughly $60/month! – You likely spend more than that on Starbucks each month or on a single night going out for dinner each week.

Sarah started Frugalpreneur as a way to help people get into entrepreneurship and start their own businesses so they can leave behind their 9-5 jobs. The best part, she does it by helping people get started for under $100!

Once Sarah realized she wanted to help more people, she wrote Frugalpreneur (see the link for Sarah’s books above to download your free copy). With the lauch of the book came the Frugalpreneur Podcast.

Since launching the podcast, Sarah has gotten her brand in front of a larger audience and helped more people start the business of their dreams.

In the episode, Sarah shares her story of building and growing this brand and how YOU can start and grow your own business for less than $100.


Key Takeaways From This Episode


I highly encourage you to listen all the way through this episode, but here are a few of the tips that Sarah shared on the episode to help you get started:

  • Find your idea – this should be the very first thing you do. Do some research, find what interests you, what you’re good at, etc, and then see if there are others who are making money doing the same thing.
  • Build your website – This is probably going to be your biggest investment at the beginning, but luckily there are tools and resources (listed above) that can help you get your website up and running for very cheap.
  • Focus on building an email list early – social media is great, but we really don’t know how long these platforms will be around for. By building an email list, you can ensure that you always have contact with your audience no matter what new platform develops.
  • Start or be a guest on podcasts – podcasting is one of the best ways to get you or your brand in front of the exact audience you’re looking to reach. No where else will you have 20-60 minutes of someone’s undivided attention.
  • Collaborate with others – the best way to grow your audience is to leverage other peoples’ audiences. Just remember, this is a two-way street. If someone is giving you access to their audience, be sure to be providing value.



I Want to Know…

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Nine-Five Podcast. Thank you so much for listening!


How do you feel about starting your own business after hearing this episode?

Does it feel a little more attainable? (If not, what are you still struggling with?)

Leave a comment below and let me know!



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"The value you provide to others directly correlates to your success. The more value you provide, the more successful you become. Focus on the value!"

- Nick Nalbach

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I am an entrepreneur and adventure enthusiast, looking to break free from the Nine-Five grind. I'll show you what has worked and is currently working for me, as well as what hasn't worked so well.

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