Updated Oct 5, 2023
A while back, I wrote a post on how to make 10 grand a month.
And while I was doing the research for this post, I discovered something. Over 1,000 people every month search for “How can I make $10,000 a month?”
But only a couple hundred search for “How can I make $20,000 a month?”
Why is this!? Isn’t making 20k a month better than making $10,000?
I’m guessing it’s because $10,000 a month probably seems more realistic. Which is too bad. So many people have money blocks that stop them from thinking bigger.
So this post is for you. You think bigger. In this article, I want to show you how to make $20k a month. This is the research I’ve done from interviews AND from me breaking 20000 a month.
Yup. Yours truly broke $20,000/month last year. Woohoo! Here’s what I’ve learned.
This post may contain links to affiliate products, which–if you choose to purchase–pay us a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps to support our work. We only promote products we’ve used and love.
1. Get the right job
One of the first ways to make $20,000 a month is with the right job. In some ways it might be the easiest way–or at least the quickest if you’ve got the chops.
But there are only so many jobs that pay 20k/mo.
To make $20,000 a month in a job you would probably have to have a high-income skill combined with an industry that pays well.
There are jobs that pay over $200,000 a year in several fields including tech and medicine. Obviously, some industries will pay management this much too, but even here you have much fewer options.
I did a quick search on Indeed and found mostly jobs in medicine and management in global companies:
Having an opportunity to access unlimited earnings could also help too.
For example, if you are a salesperson with unlimited commission cops, you could perform to the level that you make 20 grand a month. Your company will be getting customers they wouldn’t otherwise have, making it a no-brainer to pay you this much.
One thing to keep in mind is that making this much money on a salary will mean that your taxes are high. Chances are this would bring you into one of the highest tax brackets there is.
This means that your take-home would be much lower than if you made this type of money within a business that you own, say as a consultant.
Jobs that pay 20k/mo
- Medical Specialists
- Software Engineers and Developers
- Investment Bankers
- CEOs and Executives
- Data Scientists
- Real Estate Developers
- Airline Pilots
- Management Consultants
- Sales Directors
How to get a job that pays $20,000 a month
- Develop high income skills: You’ll need a set of really marketable skills–often either to handle roles in an in-demand field, or to handle complexity (for example, managers run complex teams).
- Build a powerful portfolio and/or resume: You’ll need to develop a way to show off your valuable skills. Sometimes with a resume, but even a portfolio can help (e.g. a software developer can show what they’ve done).
- Build your network: If you’re working on management positions, go hard on networking and growing your connections that can help you function effectively.
If you want to break 20,000 a month, I think launching a consulting business might be a really good way to go. This was the thing that first took me over $20k/month. In this case, I’m talking about setting up your own consulting business and not working for McKinsey or Deloitte.
Basically, you need a skill that companies like to hire out for. Bonus points if you are exceptionally good at what you do and can come in as an expert.
Then you find consulting clients who will pay for it.
The difference between a consultant and a part-time employee is usually kind of hazy, but my quick definition is that a consultant is someone who is:
- Highly skilled
- Trusted for their expertise
- Hired for results instead of for hours
This is important. If someone hires you and you find that they’re looking over your shoulder the whole time, you’re not a consultant. You’re an employee.
Why consulting can help you break $20k/mo
- You can bill by the job instead of the hour. Provide clear “Deliverables” to a company.
- You can work for multiple clients at once, which is both difficult AND frowned upon in a traditional job.
- You can command higher rates for your specialized skills. AND it’s STILL a great deal for your clients if they hire you for less than they would pay a full-time employee.
As a general rule, I believe that a consultant should be a no-brainer for a company to hire. There are two main reasons for this.
- You are going to do a better job than what they could get if they tried to hire an employee.
- You will cost them less than a full-time employee because you work fractionally.
How to start a $20k consulting business
I’ve got guides to starting a consulting business so this is just a quick checklist. But here’s what took me to 20,000 a month with consulting.
- Define a skill that’s in really high demand that you’re awesome at. (Work to develop it if you don’t have one.) For me it was digital marketing and SEO–what I do with this blog.
- Start networking and connecting with people who might need your services. Keep it low pressure.
- Focus on landing several big clients who value you and pay well. I don’t know why this is, but I find small clients are more hassle and less money (obviously). I’ve had $500 clients who wanted to look over my shoulder and second guess everything I did and $5,000 clients who just let me do what I’m best at.
I used Skillshare to teach myself the marketing skills I earn money off of now. If you’re interested, you can try it free here!
3. A following
I’ll get into various types of digital businesses below, but the one thing that can get you to 20 grand a month is some type of following.
Any of these platforms combined with a huge audience can get you over 20 grand a month.
The problem is–and I think it’s pretty obvious–every single person wants to do this.
Every kid wants to be a YouTuber. That means you’re going to need to learn to create content that is hella entertaining or instructional, that racks up likes and views.
This blog makes around $40 per 1,000 views. I would need about 500,000 views a month to make 20K off it.
I’m not there yet, but I’m pushing for it!
Let me say one last thing. The only metric for success here is the following. Don’t get caught up in HOW you will monetize. Courses. Ads. Affiliates. Influencer marketing.
That really doesn’t matter much. Build a big enough following and you can use any of these things.
How to make $20k/mo with a following
- Choose a platform to build on that serves you well and a niche. Obviously, pick something you love to create and you create a TON of content about. It gets challenging after a while. (If I was starting today, I’d go with YouTube. It works like a search engine and keeps traffic coming year after year).
- Choose a monetization strategy that fits. The easiest are things like ads and affiliates (I use both for this website). But getting to $20k is hard without enormous traffic. If your traffic is lower, I’d go for digital products (read the next part).
- Just keep going and keep refining your craft. You won’t make passive income all at once. It takes time to learn how to make 20k and to get the traffic required.
4. A digital product business
Digital products are one of the most talked about ways to make money online, and could be a way to make $20,000 a month. You can often create a digital product with no overhead, especially if it’s some kind of download or information product.
The tricky thing is selling. How many people do you know who have tried to make a course online? Have any of them made any money at it?
Probably not many.
Unfortunately, the digital product business market is very flooded. Judging from the friends I talk to who are making a living with digital products, there are a few keys:
- Find a SUPER CLEAR AND SPECIFIC NICHE
- Don’t rehash what others are doing
- Focus on creating value
Don’t forget, you’re competing with free courses on YouTube and the many free products out there. If you’re creating something to sell, it genuinely has to be great.
Digital product businesses I think are interesting
Here are a few that I think are pretty interesting and could get you to $20,000 a month.
- Online Community: Start a membership community and invite people to join. My community was one of the most successful things I’ve ever done, and it brought in recurring revenue every month. If you’re starting a community, use Mighty Networks. It’s seriously the best and you can add courses, paid events, and private groups. (20k = $40 membership x 500 members)
- Cohort course (live): There are so many online courses, how do you get a competitive edge? The answer is… teach it live! So many people taking recorded online courses wish they could do it live instead, And you can charge more for the live experience (nobody expects to pay $10 for a live course!). Again, I’d use Mighty Networks here too. I used to run my courses on this website, but I moved everything there because it was so good. (20k = $150 course x 133 students).
- Printables: My wife is experimenting with this RN. She’s a graphic designer, so she’s creating awesome shirts and selling them on Etsy. Printify does the fulfillment. She’s had some early success, but I’ll keep you posted! (20k = $15 profit per shirt x 1,333)
- Apps & software: If you can build apps and software, I’m jealous. I can’t. But I think there will always be room for new apps and software, everything from games to digital tools, and you can monetize in a bunch of different ways).
You will need to work to make a really great product, and then work to sell it. Then just keep going. For example, putting your effort into teaching an awesome live course a few times a month, and just becoming known for that thing, will eventually pay off!
5. A local business
I talked about this in my post on how to make 10,000 a month. Local business is definitely a way to get there.
My local pizza place has about 50 customers a day with an average order of $50. They could be clearing about 70 grand a month, depending on their operating costs.
If you have a business like that and you are making $20,000 in net revenue, great.
Ideas for local businesses that can make $20k/month
- Trades: The trades are awesome and in high demand. If you’re a plumber, electrician, or carpenter, you’ve got all the skills to make $20k/mo if you start a business yourself.
- Local service businesses: A local bookkeeper, hairdresser, masseuse, all these are businesses that can make $20k/month if they grow and prosper.
- Restaurants: Restaurants often bring in $20k/mo, but there’s a lot of overhead. If you want to make $20k profit, you’ll need to know your stuff.
- Local passive businesses: Laundromats, car washes, vending machines, these are all businesses that can make $20k a month (especially if you have multiple locations). They take work to set up, but are pretty passive.
If you’re interested in getting online and struggling to build an audience, an e-commerce business might be a better way to go. We talked about digital products above, so let’s talk about physical products.
You need to find a good product with demand, learn how to build a funnel or get eyes on your product, and sell it!
There are a lot of people making good money with e-commerce. Things like drop shipping and print-on-demand are becoming more popular.
If you devote yourself to it, learn the trade, and have some good margins, you might be able to make $20,000 a month with e-commerce. You could use an existing site like Etsy, or else build your own with something like Shopify.
6. Buy a business
If you want to know how to make 20000 a month quickly, the quickest way is probably to buy a business.
Buy an existing business, you can almost immediately get to this kind of cash flow for the right business.
It’s probably one of the most overlooked strategies, and I have to give a shout-out to Cody Sanchez for all the work and education she does around this.
In any given town or city, there are older business owners who are ready to retire. If they can’t find someone to buy their business, they will have to close.
Many will even consider owner financing–meaning that you pay them instead of a bank loan.
If they can’t sell, the only alternative they face is to close down a business when they retire.
You can find successful local businesses that are already profitable and have a recognized brand, and they’re for sale.
If you are entrepreneurial and willing to learn, this creates an awesome opportunity to negotiate a seller financing agreement and work alongside the existing owners to learn the business, eventually taking it over.
7. Real estate
There are obviously people making $20,000 a month in real estate. But it’s not as easy as you might think.
If someone buys a rental property for cash flow, they need it to generate enough positive cash flow to cover the mortgage, the taxes, the insurance, and any repairs that they need.
And if tenants leave, you may have a month or two of lost income until you can get new ones.
The people making $20,000 a month on real estate in positive cash flow have a lot of properties. Think 6-plexes and up, or else a whole lot of houses that are paid for. In this crazy real estate market, you need to know your stuff not to lose your shirt.
You can make $20,000 a month off of investments. In fact, that’s the end game for most of us. Build enough wealth and get it into investments that pay returns.
It was also the idea behind the FIRE movement, although not many of them made $20,000. The idea was to get enough investments so that the returns each month would cover your living. If that number works, you can retire.
It doesn’t matter what age you are.
So no matter what else you are shooting for on this list, you should also plan to start building a retirement fund that generates totally passive income – most people choose real estate or other investments.
Can I tell you the final thing about making $20,000 a month? The biggest thing will come down to your mindset.
When I first broke $100,000, it felt like such a huge chunk of money that I couldn’t imagine making more. Wouldn’t I have to work five times as hard?
It took a radical change of my mindset. And eventually, I hit 20,000. And I don’t work twice as hard as when I made 100k. Or than when I made $14/hr.
Making a lot of money isn’t just about choosing the right job or investment vehicle. It’s about learning to look at the world differently, to see possibilities that others don’t see, and being willing to work hard on things that matter.
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