How to Make Money in 3 Delightfully Simple Steps


Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.12.57 PMAfter my first big launch earlier this year, I slipped into what I call a self-imposed income hibernation.

I didn’t consciously REALIZE it until later in the summer, but aside from a few VIP 1:1 sessions I opened up by request, there was literally NO way you could pay me (besides using an affiliate link of some kind) – from March through the last day of JULY.

I was in an entrepreneurial funk. With the (lack of) sales to prove it.

When you work for -and by– yourself, it’s EASY to get stuck in a rut, staying busy with everything but the steps that will actually build momentum (and revenue).

When that happens, we’ve just gotta get back to basics.

At the start of my business I focused on THREE simple steps, and I was profitable in month two.

At the end of the summer I focused on the same three steps, and I had my best month ever. By a HEY of a lot.

Let’s talk about those three simple steps, shall we?

In this video, I’ll share:

  • The 3 steps you MUST take if you want to make money in your business
  • The truth about my business’ humble (low-cost) beginnings
  • Why I slipped into a self-imposed income hibernation for several months after my first big launch
  • A quick but BIG announcement about the current status of ACAC
  • The world premiere of my brand new ACAC mini-product (!)
  • A call to share your brilliance with this community…today

Click below to watch (or take a listen):

Click here to watch directly on YouTube (Safari’s being testy with the embed code!).


If you want to make money with your business, it’s not about doing EVERYTHING.

It’s about doing the right things.

YES it’s important to be thoughtful, intentional, and informed as we build our businesses.

But it’s also important to just START. Somewhere. By providing value.

We can (and WILL) figure out the rest as we GO.

On that note: I really have learned a LOT about all the other stuff – legal, accounting, delegating, etc…this year. Will share those lessons in future blog posts because they’re VERY important! They just don’t have to hold you up or keep you from making money. At all.

Here’s a super-speedy recap of the three simple steps:

  1. Create a product, program, or service that solves a problem. It doesn’t have to perfect – you will learn, adapt, and improve it as you go. But you can’t know if you like offering something until you actually start offering it!
  2. Be open to receiving money. Literally. Have a simple way for people to PAY you. There’s just something about having a live order form out in the world, right?
  3. Tell people about it!(!!) You can’t sell a secret. If you’ve already got your offer + payment system set up, push through the fear and SHARE it.


In the past few months, I’ve created a full SUITE of offers to help you communicate your brilliance with the folks who need it most, and for the first time EVER, they’re all open and ready for you!

I’ve listed them all below, in order of freemium to premium, along with a good stab at describing each in just ONE sentence:


FREE VIDS1. ACAC’s Free Video Training Series

In these three vids (plus a new bonus checklist I just created!), I’ll walk you through 1), the SIMPLEST way to attract plenty of dream clients (without feeling like a manipulative cheeseball), 2) six simple tips for writing your OWN great copy (you see how I like SIMPLE, right??), and 3) the crown jewel — how to write an about page you actually WANT people to read.

Get right-this-instant access at



2. The One Sentence Workbook

If my most popular blog post of all time, Lesson 3 of A Course About Copy, and the gorgeously styled ACAC workbook had a (delightfully) affordable love child to help you describe your genius in one clear sentence, The One Sentence Workbook would be it.

Get the deets (+ your copy!) at


PREP Cover3. ACAC Prep School

This is a concentrated mini-course made up of 20 super-efficient micro-lessons created to help you boost your skills, confidence, and income through your writing as you decide if the full version of ACAC is right for you and your business.

Click to get the full scoop at


ACAC now open4. THE REAL-DEAL A Course About Copy

The full course is basically my brain in OptimizePress – eight video lessons of step-by-step, page-by-page guidance to help you write your site, attract your dream clients, and actually ENJOY the process (PLUS an amazing FB community, a gorgeous workbook, & a brand new bonus library worth its digi-weight in GOLD – you know).

To check it out, visit  


See what I did up there? Step 3, baby. I TOLD you about ’em :)

Now it’s YOUR turn!

In the comments below, tell me:

How would you describe your signature product, program, or service in ONE clear sentence?

Don’t worry about perfection. Or if you spill into two clear sentences. Just SHARE it. Tell me (and everyone else reading this) about what you’ve got to offer!

Remember: You can’t sell a secret.

To the profitable opposite of income hibernation,


P.S. If you liked this post + want to help me spread the word by using the links below to share it with your buddies, I would greatly appreciate it! You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to see new videos before I’ve had time to turn them into blog posts ;)



  1. Carlaquarius

    Ohmigoodness, Nikki!
    CONGRATULATIONS on going evergreen!! (I actually learned the meaning of this word, in its online business sense, directly from you!) ;) And THANK YOU for the clarity & content of this message.

    Not sure exactly how it happened, but I’m sort of missing step #2 at the moment!! Feeling so blessed to see your message just now, and I know what’s on my to-do list for the wknd.

    Much love and Fall fun and thanks and congrats to you!!

  2. stephanie

    On demand, On-site creative solutions for your home, office or event.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I gotta dig a little deeper for that one, Stephanie – creative solutions like decor?

  3. Anabel Newton

    Great post and awesome challenge! This totally spoke to me – I’ve only recently realised that I have done a really poor job at number 2 – and number 3 – I’m working on number 2 this weekend and there’s no time like the present for number 3.

    My signature service is called the Happy Couple’s Blueprint. I work with couples to create a written blueprint around the 3 biggest relationship stressors: Money, Sex and…kids. It’s preventative medicine for potential heart-ache (oh the cheese!).

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Oooh that’s GOOD, Anabel! You have got to get busy with #s 2+3 – that is NEEDED!

      1. Anabel Newton

        Naw… thanks so much Nikki!!

  4. Jessica

    Thanks for the reality check! I feel like I constantly find myself over complicating :/

    But – now I have the courage to move forward with my *big* idea!

    The average small business owner/online entrepreneurs spends 20 hours a week on social media! And my question is – why? I’ve got a formula I use for myself and all my clients that gets it done in 5 hours a week, and I want to share it with everyone :)

    I’m working on it now at

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Five-hour marketing – LOVE IT, Jessica. So clear!

  5. connie curtis

    This is a good one and I need to practice how to tell people what I do. I guide people who are newly diagnosed with gluten intolerance or food allergies to get the basics on everyday guidance that you can only get from someone who has been there before and go from surviving to thriving effortlessly to health and vibrance.

    To everyone that reads this feedback is welcome.

    I have no website either so the key is getting out there and you did it in 2 months. I started in june and I am still not quite sure how to get myself out there to my prospective clients. I know you put your value and how it helped people and used fb.. I am getting a little frustrated actually. Getting people to trust you that is a big thing. I look forward to more tips and advice.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      You’re doing it, Connie! Those free sessions you mentioned on FB will be huge. I’m sure each person you talk to has several friends who are in the same GI boat…and word of mouth is so valuable, especially at the beginning.

  6. Kristin Savory

    You are FABULOUS Nikki- This news is absolutely brilliant. I am so happy to see that you’re offering multiple products at multiple levels. Here’s what I do (:

    I help women with thyroid issues heal their thyroid and balance their hormones so that they can live their most vibrant lives ever!

    I am so very lucky to be doing what I love. There was a time when I was in the “Thyroid Ringer” and I had no energy to live my life. And now- I’m on the other side- and I get to help other ladies get there too. Yes! That is pure joy!

    I’m working on course offerings now, but in the meantime you can grab my free tips at

    Thank you for being a real, guiding light for all of us out there. xoxoo

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks so much, Kristin! This multiple-level thing is a bit of an experiment, but it feels fun so I’m going with the ideas as they pop in :)

      It’s great that you’ve turned your experience into your service. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Suzi Istvan

    These are great tips. Also, you realizing you forgot to speak slowly at the end was adorable. (I have the same issue!)

  8. Gracie

    NIkki, your video came out just at the right time. I am currently taking the Pre-School program. I love it! I am looking forward to taking your other products. Thank you for sharing the 3 steps. I sure needed to hear that. You ROCk Nikki!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you for your support as always, Gracie! So glad you’re in the Prep School crew :)

  9. Clarissa Wilson

    I love this! Thank you for sharing!

    I am a money empowerment coach and I help women heal and empower their money to work for them in the best way possible. I love doing this work and I applied it to myself first before even starting to work with anyone else.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Glad you liked it, Clarissa! Thanks for joining us for the homework :)

  10. Mallory

    Oh my gosh! Thank you for simplifying things for the over complicate-rs of the word haha

    I love what I do! I love helping women stop using food to de-value themselves and start living a life that feels gorgeous inside + out!

    And I am laughing at how I get so jazzed and totally neglect the last step..sharing it. Cute, really cute :) Here is 30 day challenge I’m offering and wasn’t sharing>

    Thank you so much Nikki, for you and what you bring to the ‘making magic happen in the entrepreneurial world’ table! Truly grateful for you sharing your brillance xx

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank YOU so much for the lovely words, Mallory!

      Look at you go with your #3 ;)

  11. Bo

    You totally inspired me with just your 3 step video! My one sentence (that I whipped out right after watching) is:
    We will find the root cause to your mid-life weight gain and hormonal chaos!

  12. Emmy

    SO TRUE Nikki! You HAVE to put it out there for others to see your products and services :) Sometimes that’s a huge block for entrepreneurs if they need more clarity on what they do.

    Which leads to me to your new One Sentence site!! CONGRATULATIONS!! And I’M on it!! WOOOHOOO!!

    Thanks for being such a huge inspiration for me in my entrepreneurial journey. ACAC was a game changer for me. SO grateful that I found you and your program :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I’M so grateful you found me + my program, Emmy! You’re a breath of fresh air, and it’s so fun getting to witness all these lightbulb moments you’re having over there.


  13. Queenie Tan

    You are fab, Nikki! Here’s mine….I have two drafts which I’m trying to combine into one…

    I help eager and clueless parents regain control so that they can be laser focused on creating meaningful influence on their children and
    I help empower eager parents by giving them a framework so that they can view parenting challenges as learning opportunities and to be more intentional with their parenting decisions.

    I’m trying to distill it still and hopefully can come up with something compelling:)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      You’ve done the hard part, Queenie! Now it’s a matter of styling it up.

      Just remember you’ll always be sharing this in some kind of broader context, so you don’t have to tell them everything – just have to tell them enough :)

  14. Anushka

    I help professional women create a powerful impression through hair, makeup and skincare techniques that defines their personal image. Beauty Camp is a space created with women like this in mind, at a no-cost, fun and interactive weekly program.

  15. Marsha from

    Dude, breaking it down like this into those three steps: SERIOUSLY INSPIRING, thank you!
    Also thanks for reminding those of us that sometimes feel a bit..British about marketing ourselves, that you can’t sell a secret!

    Here’s my service in a (run-on) sentence:

    I help entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives who are really good at what they do, but not as successful as they know they are capable of being, have their dream clients find them – by helping them make business buddies with their business heroes, in a way that feels comfortable and actually FUN.

    (you may have had something to do with my using those last two words :) )

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I was literally thinking of you AS YOU WROTE THIS COMMENT this morning, friend! (Just still basking in the sunshine of getting to catch up with you yesterday.)

      You know I’ve got a think for three simple steps. Maybe B+I watch too much “Special Agent Oso” on Disney Jr:

  16. Monique

    Thanks for this email today! I just finished my payment options for my program and your email was the kick in the butt I need to not to be shy and put my program out there!

    My one liner….

    I help people Find their Passion, Build it into a Brand and Realize the Dream through launching their online business!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Can’t get too far without step 2, can we? ;) Congrats, Monique!

  17. Allison

    My one-liner (for now!)
    A connected, meaningful “thank you” or finish line gift that resonates with your clients that is beautiful and inspiring.

    Blah- I need help on this!

    Here it is!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      OOH love that though, Allison! Thank you gifts are dreamy :)

  18. Eimee

    I’m an Image Consultant and I help women with their personal and professional appearance so they can thrive in life. So my one sentence is also my tag line…”I Help You Turn Style Confusion Into Confidence.”

    1. Bevin Prater

      Very succinct and descriptive, love it! I am working to trim mine down to get to the essence and less wordy

    2. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Yep! Great to focus on the transformation :) And for a #nerdalert grammar tip – since it’s a sentence, there’s no need to capitalize anything but the first word/letter.

  19. Laura Licata

    Great video Nikki. It’s so great to see you back blogging. This is some pretty hefty homework here. Let’s see if I can do this!

    I help women reconnect their bodies back to the Earth, back into harmony, and back into feeling great by discovering the root of their health issues and teaching them how to use nutrition to completely lift out of them.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Great start, Laura! The leaner you can get that, the better. Remember you don’t have to tell ’em everything with that one sentence; you just have to tell them enough. That WWM page should do the heavy lifting!

  20. Kat Bern

    OH MY!!!

    This is THE thing I needed to hear. I mean… thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

    I will get back to report here when it’s done, but I sooooo need to tune out the distractions and do those 3 steps. NOW.

    Love, Kat

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Great, Kat! Checking in WAY late – how’d it go? :)

  21. Daniela

    My tagline: I help women to transform all areas of their lives by providing them with information and free tools on how to connect with their true being, and use their inner potential to create new reality – a life of their dreams.

    I love your message and the way how you can communicate it. Would you be willing to contribute an article to Madamesque – Business & Career age? I’m sure our readers would benefit from your knowledge.

    Love, Daniela

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Nice, Daniela! As long as that’s how THEY describe what they want from you, golden.

      I’m not doing guest posts at this point (because it’s a miracle for me to make time to write my own ;)), but I appreciate the invite!

  22. Rebekah Allan

    Ohhh, this is a goodie!

    Cake Business School
    For the love of cake + business. Starting + growing + marketing + legals + online stuff all stuck together with butter cream. Time to live your Cake Business Dream.

    {Note – you are rocking my socks off, Nikki.}

    Oh, and my evergreen programs sucked giant panda balls. I can’t wait to see how yours go :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      The cake part sounds delish and the panda part made me LOL. Hope it’s doing better now :)

  23. Malika

    Wow!! So excited/relieved to have found this, I’ve been freaking OUT about creating the perfect programme for anxiety and panic attacks that I’m now holding it back from the people who could do with it the most! It’s nearly ready but as a procrastination smack down I’ve put it live on the web and given myself a deadline for 1st November to have it Ready to serve :-)
    My sentence is…

    Harvest Calm: 21 simple steps you can easily incorporate into your life to bring relief from anxiety and panic attacks.

    Thank you for the GREAT value you offer here, I’m so grateful xxx Malika xxx

  24. Misty Johnson

    Hi Nikki, love your message and your videos – absolute gold. I’m starting out and really passionate about what my message is YET I find it so freakin’ hard to get it (and myself) out there. So here goes.

    I guide women through social media detoxes so they can disconnect from the online world and reconnect with who they are in the real world.

    On a side note – I’ve been toying with the whole “Coach” word lately, as that’s the label I attached to what I do. However, I feel more and more connected with being a Guide on a social media detox journey rather than a coach. Guide feels more genuine to who I am too.

    Once again, thanks so much for all your wisdom, truly appreciate it. Misty x

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Sweet, Misty. I’m definitely feeling a social media APP detox in my future – the scrolling zaps my energy and motivation like no other!

  25. Sage Hobbs

    I love your clear, authentic style!

    Unleash your inner badass, so you can get into action and make the difference in the world you were born to make. Together, we design a clear game plan, with actionable items, that will propel you toward your dreams with clarity and confidence.

  26. Bevin Prater

    I help introverts and highly sensitive people, who struggle to find courage to go out in social situations and meet new people, without feeling nervous or overwhelmed, so they can connect with others who understand and appreciate them!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Great value, Bevin!

      Throwing out a more concise option for you: I help introverts + highly sensitive people meet and connect with others who understand and appreciate them.

  27. Victoria Bauman

    Thanks, I love when you boil it down to the basics!

    I help women rise above their self-discovery mess, anchor into their unique brilliance, and shamelessly beam their greatness into the world.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I love when you love when I boil it down to the basics, Victoria! Thanks for the encouragement ;)

  28. Tracy Bishop

    Happy Robin is an online gift selling lots of beautiful gifts, but it needs something to add oomph!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Hmmm – maybe if you had a clear focus for the type of gift RECIPIENT that could add some snap? That way people know exactly why they’d wanna shop with you?

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      That’s amazing, Alina – I know exactly who I need to send this link to :)

  29. Harold

    I am looking to add Instagram and Facebook to my marketing efforts, as well as add punch to my website. We are an online seller of graduation and greek letter apparel for the college market as well as corporate and alumni groups.

  30. Lyn Firth

    I want to be like you when I grow up Nikki! Such a beautiful and shiny soul you are.

    I empower women to let go of the lives they think they ‘should’ live so they can live the life they truly ‘want’ to live.

  31. Chelsea

    Ah! I’m so stuck in the “everything needs to be perfect” mindset, so thank you for continually beating the catchphrase into my head: it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be shared. I’m working on #2 and #3 this week! My one sentence is “Inspired stationary design for your vision of beauty”. I’m a graphic designer focusing on wedding invitation suites, and want to customize each suite to perfectly match the personality and style of the client. Weddings are so magical, and I think all brides should have their own piece of pretty!

  32. Jocelyne

    I’m from the UK and I love fast talking! I don’t think you went too fast and understood you clearly, so don’t worry! As for your cta, I am going to work on this, it’s a great idea.
    I am a whole woman wellness and yoga coach and work with women who are navigating midlife or menopause, who are ready for an upgrade and want to make the best choices for their health, sanity and peace of mind without wasting valuable time and energy chasing things that don’t work.
    Thanks Nikki

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Thanks, Jocelyne – good to know and great to “meet” you :)

  33. LeRoy

    Educating people about the health benefits of a Real Food diet opposed to processed foods.

  34. Melanie

    Hi, Nikki…We are two teachers and college professors…our business is BottomLine Teacher Education…Literacy professional development that cuts to the chase.

  35. mary

    Hi Nikki – I just found your website and videos and your style and energy just instantly resonated with me and inspired more than anything i’ve been working on recently.
    Here’s my sentence (thanks to you!): I help women who feel “enough is enough” write their own blueprint/manifesto for an authentic and soul filled life. I do this by helping them uncover their own innate wisdom to kickstart their new life.
    I can’t wait to join prep-school and follow more of your work. xox
    and from another english chick – you don’t talk too fast!! lol

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! #whew – thanks, Mary ;) Totally honored to help inspire you along your journey however I can. Glad you found my corner o’ the internet and can’t wait to WELCOME you to Prep School + beyond!

  36. Megan Moyer Craig

    Nikki – Your upbeat style has completely won me over! This video and all the comments really made me smile. It amazes me to see all the sass and spirit. It actually made me feel less lonely as I work through this adventure. I am a commerce coach who helps authentic brands using technical finesse, customer appreciation and design detail. (or something like that for now :))

  37. Carly

    Thanks for the advice, Nikki. It does sound good to be true but I’ll trust you on this one! I am a life coach who works with women 35+ who are wanting to let go of thoughts and behaviors not serving them and redefine their purpose and potential. ww

Comments are closed.