074 Steve Chou | Taking a Sideline Business to a Six Figure Income

Have you ever dreamed of creating a sideline income (just a bit of money on the side)?  Well, Steve Chou thought about it and did it. He didn’t have tons of business experience and was willing to try new approaches.  Steve’s e-commerce business began to take off as he prioritized every hour he spent on the business…then his wife quit her job.

Steve and his wife pivoted into a successful online business with hard work and lots of testing.  Since then, the original “sideline” business has created another business for Steve by showing others how to start their online business too!  Join us for this interview to discover the exact approach Steve took.

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Steve’s Target Audience: Steve’s target market is aspiring business owners not satisfied with their jobs, who want to create their own businesses and spend more time with their families.

Steve runs three different types of successful businesses. Along with his wife, he runs an e-commerce store, a blog and a course that teaches people how to start their own online e-commerce stores. Before he started to work for himself, he was working a full-time job.

While still working his full-time job, he and his wife separated a few hours daily for their first side business which was running an online store that sells wedding keepsakes. They did this so his wife could stay home with their kids. Once they found success with the store, people began asking questions about how he did it. Naturally he started a blog to share their experiences and later he took that content and created a detailed course to offer to the public.

TWEET THIS: "In the beginning, it's about clawing your way." Steve Chou

On episode 74, Steve talks about his business, how he got started, the niche he chose and his uphill journey towards success. He says that there are many ways to make money online and e-commerce is just one of them. He believes you have to find where the demand is and start serving that demand.

But understanding this demand takes a lot of work. There’s a learning curve here to find the right niche. You must do your due diligence through research and then get started. The beginning is often the most difficult – you have no customers and you need to advertise. Steve gives an example of a tool called Google Adwords, it helps you display relevant advertisements in search results.

TWEET THIS: "It's really about prioritization.” Steve Chou

Steve says advertising does pay off but still you need to create content in order to get organic traffic to your online business. All of this takes time. You might have to wait for months and months until something actually gets some traction. Steve recommends creating a unique value proposition so you can stand out from your competitors in your niche.

Steve also shares with us his experiences of being in the trenches. He classifies these experiences into phases and prioritization that helped him succeed. Steve also shares what didn’t work while on his path to success. Eventually, as he understood what worked and what didn’t work, he was able to capitalize on the available opportunities to attract even more customers.

TWEET THIS: "You have to figure out how to organize your time." Steve Chou

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why Steve started selling online: the full story.
  • How he started a new businesses teaching others his way.
  • Finding a niche: the learning curve everyone goes through.
  • The two phases Steve went through to get out of the trenches.
  • How he handled failed strategies: what worked, what didn’t..
  • Setting priorities: Steve shares the proper mindset to adopt.
  • How to identify who has the attention of your target audience.
  • Finding new revenue streams: Steve’s discovery process and why it pertains to you.
TWEET THIS: "If you take a chance on me, I will deliver." Steve Chou

Practical & Actionable:

Steve says the most practical and actionable thing that you can do right now is own your own business. He says to not rely on outside platforms and to create your own domain URL.

Also, build your own audience from the beginning. You can start by gathering email addresses. You don’t necessarily need to have a purpose for this audience right away. Just build a following and once this is done, everything will naturally come together.


To give Steve a shout out for being on the show, follow him and send him a message: Steve Chou. Connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter at @genehammett and let me know what you liked about the episode!

Do you have questions about today’s episode!?!

Did you know that you can apply to chat with me by phone? This is a limited time offer to help anyone that is serious about refining their business as well as developing a clear & compelling strategy that will drive them forward. Complete the questions and our team will follow up with you to schedule time for your “Business Breakthrough Session”. These are limited to 30 minutes, completely free and oh, so valuable.  Apply Now!


And lastly, please leave a rating and review for the Leaders in the Trenches on iTunes (or Stitcher) – it will help us in many ways, but it also inspires us to keep doing what we are doing here. Thank you in advance!

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