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Living Off App Income, How Much Do I Need?

How Much App Income Do I Need To Live Off Of?

This is probably the number one question I get from people looking to invest in apps. First off let me iterate that I am not a financial advisor and this is not financial advice. This is simply the techniques I employ in my own life to achieve financial independence from app income.

Everyone’s ideal situation is different. For some people a $40,000 a year lifestyle is sufficient while for others a $1,000,000 a year lifestyle is what is mandatory. With this is mind there is a bunch of different factors to consider that I am not personally equipped to granularly help you decide.

What I can do however is tell you the strategy that I am implementing in my own life while I build my app empire. A lot of it is inspired by the FIRE investing method. It is broken into a few basic steps:

  1. Take care of your bills
  2. Monthly revenue equal to 3 months worth of your existence
  3. Run successfully for 12 months

Don’t worry I’m going to break it down.

1) Take Care Of Your Bills

First and foremost don’t even start thinking about retiring off of app income if your app revenue isn’t paying your bills. For me the minimum bills I need paid are:

  • Mortgage
  • Phone
  • Utilities (electric/water/trash)
  • Student Loans
  • Groceries
  • Gas/Ride Sharing

If I don’t have all of these things paid for from my app portfolio then I can’t really retire in any sense of the word. This is because these are my necessities and if my necessities are not met then I have to actively go get them, thus trading my time for money, thus working. When I can eat and sleep without worry then it’s on to the next step which is building up the app income.

2) Monthly Revenue Equal To 3 Months Worth Of Your Existence

What I mean by this is besides my bills I also have miscellaneous expenses such as entertainment, contributions to my investment portfolio, eating out, etc. I want to have fun just like everyone else, so in order to retire I have to quantify that and come up with a total monthly figure. Now in order for me to feel comfortable retiring entirely off of my app income, my portfolio needs to make 3x what that total monthly figure is per month. Once again this is what my ideal retirement is, it make not be the same for you. However I know if it dries up, I still can maintain my current lifestyle for 3 months at the minimum. Part of the idea of retirement is the peace of mind and security of knowing your money will not run out and you can live the lifestyle you want to live.

This is where the type of lifestyle I want to live comes into play. I don’t really want much in life $10,000 USD per month. Why? $40,000 a year is equal to $3,333.33 per month. Multiply that by 3 and that comes to 9,999.99 per month (add a penny for kicks and giggles). I need $10K per month and then I won’t have any worries about paying for the things that I want to pay for.

3) Run Successfully For 12 Months

So there was a point in time where I was living completely from app income and it was great however it eventually slowed down and put me in a bind for a period of time because it wasn’t following rule #2. App income can be very variable and as a result you need to build a track record of running your app portfolio successfully before you give everyone at your job the middle finger and quit your job. Enjoy the extra income while you still work for a year….and then quit.

In all seriousness if my portfolio steadily generates app income for a year at these numbers I will have 3 years worth of your lifestyle at the end of those 12 months. With that in mind I know I can actually sit back and maintain my apps.

App Income Is Addictive

It is an amazing cash vehicle that can give you financial freedom. That being said it’s not as easy as just putting out an app and collecting a check. If you are interested in adding apps into your investment portfolio and need some advice on where to get started, schedule a 1 on 1 consultation with me today!

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When Should My Side Gig Become My Main Gig?

I Want To Quit My Job And Work Full Time On My App!

This is the number one comment I receive from app entrepreneurs. Many people have read my article describing my decision to pursue residual income full time and want to live that same lifestyle. I understand the allure and the desire for this however I always give them the same answer…it depends. In my most recent Tech Talk I discussed what those variables are but here is a synopsis.

How Much Do You Make A Year?

This is the first question I ask aspiring app entrepreneurs. Your lifestyle always adjusts depending on your income. With that being said if you make $100,000 USD a year and you have an app that makes $50,000 a year it might not make sense to quit your main gig just yet IF that $50,000 cannot provide the same standard of living that you are currently living.

What Is Your App’s Time/Income Ratio?

Back to the concept of app income, one of the next questions I ask app entrepreneurs is “What is your app’s time/income ratio?”. Meaning how much time are you having to put in to this app to generate the income you are receiving.  Going back to the example of making $50,000 a year from one of your apps, if you have to spend 200 hrs/week just to maintain that $50,000 then it might make more sense to keep your $100,000 main gig and outsource development for your app (let’s say $10,000) and collect the rest and supplement income.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of The App?

Not all applications are meant to be around long term. If your app isn’t going to be around for more than 5-10 years. Don’t quit your main gig, it just does not make sense. There is ONE exception and that is if your app is making crazy amounts of money like Flappy Bird money

For A More In Depth Discussion Check Out The Tech Talk

Don’t forget to join my Tech Talk live broadcasts on Tuesdays and Thursdays and join the conversations in real time! If you enjoyed this content like and share this video and subscribe to my Youtube channel!

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I Have An App Now What?

You Have Spent Countless Hours Building Your App

It’s beautiful, it works, it’s your baby……WHY ISN’T THE WHOLE WORLD ON IT RIGHT NOW?! Trust me I feel you when I was first starting out I had the same feelings of frustration when my apps didn’t take off. I’m going to give you a few tips on how to help generate traffic to your new start up

1) Set Up Your Social Presence

This may seem obvious but the first thing you need to do after you create your application is to create social media accounts for it; Specifically speaking Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. Afterwards you must consistently be active because you have lost time and followers to make up for. If you don’t have the time you might look into outsourcing your brand management to someone on sites like Upwork or write your own automated solutions here is an example for Twitter here.
Social media directly translates to how much social capital your start up has and in the beginning especially social capital is more important that financial capital. Social capital is defined as: The collective value of all social networks (who people know), and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other (norms of reciprocity). In order to build a brand and get people to trust and believe in your brand you must first build social capital.

2) Reach Out To Local Media

Find the local media outlets in your city and send them emails/phone calls letting them know about your app and what it does. You would be surprised how many would be interested in doing a story on you. The worst that can be said to you is no, the cost-benefit analysis says it’s silly to not even try. Just head over to the contact sections on their websites and start contacting them!
However don’t just contact them, you need to have a pitch preferably 500 words or less to send in that initial email or phone conversation. I’m not going to cover what a good pitch is in this article I am saving that for its own piece just know that your pitch 90% of the time will make or break your request for an interview.  Lastly you always have the option of purchasing an ad (although your money probably be better spent on Facebook/Twitter ads).

3) Iterate Often

Just because you have finished your MVP for your app doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait. In fact if you want are serious you will be iterating often! This does two things:

  1. It helps with retention if the users who decided to take a chance on you see that you are continuing to make the experience better they will be more apt to return back to the application.
  2. When new users come to your site and see the evidence of updates they feel safer trying your app for the first time.

In addition to those when you iterate often and took the time to implement SEO/AEO in your app then the engines will pick that up to your benefit. In my humble opinion it is always better to get a product out as quickly as possible then make changes frequently.

Is That It?

No of course not, so much of app marketing depends on your niche, industry sector, yadda yadda. These three tips are only the tip of the iceberg and these tips are pretty  general no matter what kind of app you are doing. If you are interested in a more in depth analysis on how to market your app feel free to send me an email If you enjoyed this content please like and share on your social media channels!