“I only work 5 hours a week”: This 39-year-old makes $160,000 a month in passive income – a look at his typical day – CNBC | Ad On Picture

I was never the entrepreneur type. But after losing my job as an audio engineer in 2009, I had to get creative to make ends meet.

Thirteen years later, at age 39, I’ve built two online businesses that bring me a total of $160,000 a month in passive income. I also recently published a book, How to Get Paid for What You Know.

The first company I started was The Recording Revolution, a music and education blog that sells music production courses. The second, which I started in 2018, teaches people how to make money from their passions like I did. It is the most lucrative business thanks to online sales of courses and coaching programs and affiliate commissions.

Graham Cochrane started his first business in 2009. He has since scaled two online businesses and is now making around $120,000 a month.

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Make It

Around 2,800 people use my products and my goal is to help more entrepreneurs grow their online business while working fewer hours.

My top priorities are spending time with family and being able to give back. That’s why I’ve organized my work and personal life to focus on these key values.

This is what my typical day looks like:

The morning starts slow and easy

I usually wake up at 5am – before the kids – because I always want an hour to myself. I’ll start with coffee and my Bible.

After some reading, prayer and journaling, I will make breakfast with my wife and wake up the children. We will eat together in the kitchen for 20-30 minutes before I take her to school at 7:30am

Then I go back to the home office or do a quick training session if I feel like it.

Graham and his wife have breakfast with their children in the morning before discussing their schedule.

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Make It

I only work five hours a week – Mondays and Wednesdays

Graham spends about five hours a week creating content and managing his businesses.

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Make It

Once a month I film an exclusive workout for members of my paid community, adding about an extra two hours of work per month to my schedule.

I’ve never been a fan of rush culture; I don’t think it’s healthy or wise. If you can find a way to build systems into your business so that it runs largely on its own, you don’t have to waste time on constant maintenance.

After all, what’s the point of “being your own boss” if you work all the time?

Family time is my #1 priority

“My schedule has two things that are non-negotiable,” says Graham: “I pick my daughters up from school every day, and our family has dinner together every night.”

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Make It

We love to go for a walk, swim in the pool, watch movies or play Nintendo Switch with the kids. By spending time together, we hope to teach them important life skills, such as: B. Sharing feelings and being kind to one another. I also want them to feel like valuable, integrated family members.

We also love to travel – both locally in Florida and around the world. A few summers ago we spent a month in the south of France. And just this spring we were in Puerto Rico for three weeks. Having the time and flexibility to make these types of memories together is priceless.

Radical generosity is a core value

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