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Against the Grain on Online Income

October 26, 20239 min read

Everyone wants to make additional income, especially after 2020.

More people have realized the potential of online income.

Building an online income gives you options.

The options to be able to quit your job and still have income, spend the entire day with your kids, go on vacation when you like.

Options are great to have.

But just like you, I was tired of being inundated with ads for Amazon FBA this or Affiliate Marketing that.

Joining webinars only to learn I had to pay $10,000 to learn their “secret sauce”...

Truth is there is no secret sauce.

The process I am about to share with you will not only help you build an income online -but it’s the exact blueprint I used to build 3 businesses that have done $1M a year.

Warning there is no right or wrong way to make an income online. This is just the way that has worked for me, this may or may not work for you.

Unfortunately, there are some folks who, despite having a plan, will never take action.

The reason why they don’t take action it’s usually because:

  • #1 they don’t have the time or money

  • #2 they’re afraid of failure or the unknown

  • #3 they don’t know what to do

Even when you’re making money online - these fears never go away, you just don’t let it stop you.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. " - Nelson Mandela

In this newsletter I will share my process for building an online income in 12 months while working a full time job.

This is the roadmap I’d take if I had to start over:

How To Build An Online Income:

  1. Specific Knowledge

  2. Gain Mastery

  3. Share In Public

  4. Build A Tribe

  5. Identify Problems

  6. Create Solutions

  7. Sell It

Specific Knowledge

First step is finding your strengths, skills, and what you enjoy doing.

Naval Ravikant calls it “Specific Knowledge”.

Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your natural talents, things you’re passionate about, and things you’re curious about.

It’s what differentiates you from others. It's the unique blend of your experiences, insights, and expertise.

Helps you become a niche of one (more on this later).

Best way to find your Specific Knowledge is using the Japanese concept called Ikigai (生き甲斐)

Ikigai is something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living.

This can be writing, making videos, graphic design, helping people lose weight, etc.

For me when I started, I was an athlete, loved reading, and writing creatively.

To figure out what you’re Specific Knowledge is:

  • Ask people around you what they think you’re the best at?

  • What do you naturally feel pulled towards?

Gain Mastery

Once you find your strengths, time to lean into them.

Obsess over them, learn everything there is to learn about your strengths, gain mastery.

This is why I recommend making learning a discipline.

Listen to podcasts, read books, do experiments on yourself, help people around you.

Knowledge is one thing, application and action is another.

Here are some questions to find your passions to obsess over:

What are the top three things you’re passionate about?

What is something you can’t stop talking about?

For me, I was passionate about health and wellness. I was 115 lbs and wanted to learn how to gain weight.

This led me to becoming a personal trainer.

For me, it’s building an online income that allows me to have the freedom to live a healthier, happier, weather life.

Share In Public

As you learn, I recommend sharing your knowledge and findings in public.

Why? Because when one teaches two learn.

This will help you find your voice, develop your unique methodology, that you can package into a digital product (more on this later)

Best way to do this is find a platform and share.

There is no right or wrong way to do this, as long as it is consistent. This can be daily, 3x a week, or even 1x a week to find the frequency that you can stick to.

When I started I wanted to get good at video, so for 1 year straight, I went live on my Facebook profile.

When you share you’ll recognize patterns, things people resonate with. This allows you to refine what you want to share.

When you start you might think people are judging you. The truth is no one cares. Focus on the process.

Build A Tribe

As you share regularly and frequently, people who resonate with you will flock towards you.

In a world full of people pleasers, we need people who stand up for something.

People need someone or something to believe in until they can believe in themselves.

Best way to do this is being prolific, saying what you mean and backing it up.

I learned this from Mitch Miller, who used Eminem as an example.

Eminem is one of the most prolific rap artists ever. You either dislike him or you love him, there are very few people in between.

That is how you build a tribe.

You can’t please everyone.

Identify Problems

As you’re building your tribe, people will reach out to you asking questions.

Generally these will be questions around problems they’re running into.

Making an income online is about finding problems people are facing and creating solutions.

People having issues with their plumbing: $4.56 Trillion dollar Plumbing Industry

People need their roof fixed: $5B Roofing Industry

People need help with their marriage: $25.6B Marriage Counseling Industry

Best industries to solve problems are Health, Wealth, and Relationships because that is where the most problems exist.

As I was building my tribe, I started recognizing people’s pain points.

I jotted down the questions I got like:

  • How do I lose weight while traveling?

  • I need to shed the fat underneath my arms, what exercises should I do?

  • How do I get rid of the belly pooch?

When people have problems this is your opportunity to create solutions.

Create Solutions

After understanding the problems people are facing you can sit down and map out a solution for them.

Figure out a roadmap on how to help them solve the common problem they are facing.

For example if someone needed to lose 10 pounds of body fat, what would the process look like?

When creating the solution don’t hold back, think outside the box, think of other problems that people will face along their journey.

Once you figure that out then it’s how do you package it?

My recommendation is having digital products:

  • Video Course

  • Paid Community

  • Or through 1-on-1 Services online.

If you’re going into the health world - Video Courses are not the best, most people don’t have time to sit and study, they just want to be told what to do.

My favorite approach is a Paid Community.

I started by doing 1 on 1 services helping people lose weight.

Then I switched to a Hybrid Model helping people lose weight, where I had 300+ clients all online.

Launch & Sell

All you need is a v1.0 of your solution, now time to sell it.

First get your feet wet, start with a small group of five to 10 people.

Do it for free or at a discounted rate. Get feedback and make it better.

If it’s worth building it’s worth building right.

Aim to build a world class solution that delivers results.

You don’t want to provide mediocre products when the world is already full of them.

I launched a 6 week challenge to help people lose 25 lbs or 6% body fat.

I knew in order to do that people needed workouts, meal plans, grocery lists, meal prep guides, etc.

I started with a small group, tested it, and kept refining it once it was 80% ready I started selling it.

I am a big fan of the paid community model, this allows you to coach people one to many.

How I would launch a community would be through Challenge for a stupid low price, let’s say $28 for a 28 Day Challenge.

Then on the 20th day of the challenge I would sell the community for $49 a month to everyone who participated.

Making Time:

Plan is simple, the journey is rough.

“But Malik I have a full time job, I don’t think I have the time…”

I used to say the same thing.

We vote with our dollars and our time with what’s most important to us.

We spend time with our loved ones, because they are important to us.

If this is important to you then you will make the time.

If it’s not important to you then you won’t.

We all have these goals of wanting to build a business, making more money, losing weight, and having freedom…

but the choices they make with their money and time do not reflect the goals they want.

For some it’s out of necessity for some it’s out of ignorance.

If it’s important to you, then you will make the time.

You Have Time

Start Today

Problem is 90% of people have cognitive dissonance.

Now there is no excuse for you if you say “I don’t know what to do” or “how to get started”.

You have a job, either in sales, in HR, maybe in recruiting, or you work desk job. You weren’t born knowing how to do your job. You weren’t born knowing how to use your computer.

You spent time and you learned. You find answers when you actually do the work.

Hard to experience something from the side lines.

Get in the mud, get dirty, you’ll learn more from doing than reading about it.

One of the greatest character traits is taking massive action, I am grateful my father instilled that in my siblings and I.

Building an income online, especially after 2020 has been the new hot thing, like the Jonas Brothers or the Backstreet Boys.

But many people just don’t know how or where to start.

Here is the exact process I used to build an income online and how you can do it as well:

Action Time:


  1. Specific Knowledge

  2. Gain Mastery

  3. Share In Public

  4. Build A Tribe

  5. Identify Problems

  6. Create Solutions

  7. Sell It

Half the battle is just getting started and truly making this a priority.

There is no magic sauce that will allow you to take the first step, if you’re reading this I know you can do it.

Best place to start would be to identify your Specific Knowledge, then start obsessing over things you’re passionate about. When you feel ready, start sharing in public, pick a platform and just be consistent.

If you found this useful then share it with someone else that you think might find this valuable using this link here:

Being broke, unhappy, unhealthy, and miserable feels worse than working hard towards your goals.

Choose your hard.

Till next time,

Mohammed Malik

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Mohammed Malik

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