eBusiness Institute

Yvette Strathfield Web Design

Retraining In Digital Skills Hands Mum Of 4 New Career Path

You might remember our legendary student Yvette, who was our Ultimate Champions Cup winner in 2017.

She is a mum of four, and initially started her Champions journey with her daughter Jasmine.

But I wanted to give you an update because Yvette has a really inspirational story. She has been able to overcome her fears of working on the computer, and now runs a very successful digital agency on her own in Sydney

WATCH THE VIDEO or read the transcript below to see how Yvette has gone from a complete beginner online to now earning money online full-time.

See how this mum of four started with no digital skills, but through the Champions program learned how to start her own Digital Agency and create a portfolio of semi-passive websites…

Matt Raad:      Hi again, everyone. It’s Matt Raad, CEO and co-founder of eBusiness Institute, where we teach beginners how to transition from full-time employment to earning income online. 

I’m excited about today’s special guest. Her name is Yvette, and she’s one of our star students from a few years ago. And in 2017, Yvette was our Ultimate Champions Cup winner.

So, a big thank you, Yvette, for coming along today. 

For all our readers, Yvette’s got a really interesting story. After training with us for five years, I thought it would be good for you to read her update. You’ll see where she ended up because she now does this full-time

Yvette was probably like many of you reading this, a total beginner online. She worked crazy hours at Sydney markets as a manual labourer. 

I’m presuming you’re doing wheeling and dealing there, but you’re starting at 4:00 AM. And I know you look younger than I do, but you’ve got four kids, and your husband’s approaching semi-retirement.

So, you’re at that stage in life where the kids have all grown up and left home. One of them, Jasmine, was with you on the course. But this story today is all about you because I think it will resonate with a lot of our readers.

Yvette started as a complete beginner online

Matt:               Thinking back to when you started, how good or bad were you at computers and working online with building websites? Can you paint us a picture here?

Yvette:            Well, I had a saying that I had children. And because I fed them, they had to help me with my computer and mobile phone.

I still struggle with the TV remote, but I’m working on that.

When it came to computers, if you sent me an email, I could reply, but I didn’t know how to start an email. I couldn’t attach anything to an email.

And I recall on my last accountability to you, you said to me, “What are you most proud of?” I said, “The fact that I can cut and paste the questions you sent to me, put them on my email, and answer them in blue!” 

I was so impressed that I could do this thing that I never thought was possible. 

Honestly, I had no use for computers. I didn’t use them in my work because I was a manual labourer and couldn’t do it. But I had a love of learning

She started the Champions program with her daughter, Jasmine

Yvette:            As you said, I did this course with my daughter, Jasmine. She wanted to do it, and I told her, “I love learning, so I’ll do it with you.”

Matt:               And so, Jasmine dragged you along to the course?

Yvette:            Yes. When I first saw this, I thought here’s something my children could do because they all use computers. And I thought, “Well, I have to go along because I’ve got to take them to the boot camps.” 

But it wasn’t something I thought I could ever do.

The Champions program gave Yvette the confidence to build her first client website

Yvette:            And if you had said to someone back then, “Yvette’s learning the computer”, they would all fall over laughing because they knew I couldn’t use them. Now, I have no fear of computers at all. 

People can ask me things like, “How do you do this?”, “What do you do?” or “Can we put this on a website?” There is nothing anyone could ask me where the answer’s not, “Sure. I’ll find out.” 

One of my clients does robotic processing automation (RPA), which is basically two computers talking to each other. And that was one of the websites I did.

So, my confidence has gone from I can use a pen and paper to I can now totally use a computer

Even reading on a computer was something I found was a skill I had to learn. I had to learn how to read what was on a computer and be able to understand the words because my skill was originally learning how to read in a book. I found it very different to reading on a computer screen.

Yvette no longer works at the markets, and now earns money online full-time

Matt:               This is amazing because this is now your full-time income, isn’t it? Do you earn all your money online?

Yvette:            Correct. It’s my hobby. It’s my passion. It’s my full-time work. It is my life. 

I wish I had learnt this 50 years ago because I cannot get enough of it. At 5:30 PM every day, I know I have to stop because otherwise, I won’t. I just love doing this. 

It’s constantly learning, constantly evolving, and something that I love.

Matt:               So, I know we’ve interviewed you twice before on eBusiness Institute here, and you can go and read the stories where we had Yvette’s daughter with her talking about how they retrained in digital skills.

But I want to capture where you’re at now. You and I recently caught up face to face at one of the meetups, and you were telling me some pretty exciting stuff that’s happened.

Her primary source of income is building websites for local businesses

Matt:               You’ve just gone in leaps and bounds, particularly over COVID, and you’re now online full-time. What’s your primary strategy? And I know you do all our strategies, but what’s your main income earning method at this point?

Yvette:            It’s building websites for local businesses. And I have had a few. Just a few days ago, I quoted for a $30,000 website, which is cool.

Matt:               Well done!

By giving good value to her clients, Yvette now charges up to $10,000 for her website builds…

Yvette:            For most of my web builds, the fee starts at $3,500. And I’ve done quite a lot of larger website builds between $7,000 and $10,000.

It all depends on the profession regarding how many zeros I put on the end of the website and if I think they can afford more. 

It’s this perceived value thing. If you’re dealing with a high-net-worth person, their perceived value is much higher than someone just starting their business. 

Matt:               But you’re very genuine with your clients because, like all of us here, you do such a good job for people. Your value is worth it, Yvette because you build such fantastic websites for people through your award winning Strathfield digital agency.

Yvette:            Absolutely. And my recent stats show that over 64% of my client’s sites rank number one or on page one. So, I know I’m making them money.

Yvette is flourishing with running her Digital Agency on her own

Matt:               And you’re now doing this solo, aren’t you? Jasmine (or some other whizkid daughter) isn’t there in the background with you?

Yvette:            It’s just me.

Matt:               So, Jasmine’s gone off on her own path?

Yvette:            She does her own thing.

Matt:               And you now run your agency, working from home?

Yvette:            I work from home, which is fabulous because if I want to start at 11.00 AM, or if one of my girlfriends rings up and says, “I want to see this movie”, then I can be there. I just close my computer and go and do what I want to do. 

So for me, it’s such a wonderful life. I’m doing something that I love, and I’m making money out of it. And when the sun does shine in Sydney, I can go out and enjoy it and not have to answer to anyone other than myself.

Matt:               Yes, because when it came to having to answer to people, you had a pretty full-on role where you were working.

She was able to quit her job and run her agency full-time within 2 years

Matt:               I want to acknowledge that you were a total beginner online and had Jasmine, your daughter, helping, who was 26 or 28 at the time.

Yvette:            At the time, yes.

Matt:               She helped you implement the things that we teach. 

But roughly, how long did it take you until you were able to quit your job and do this full-time?

Yvette:            I would say 18 months to two years.

Matt:               About two years, which is normal for someone like yourself. So that’s a good gauge. 

And obviously, we can all see the relief when you live the dream life now, working from home and you’re passionate about what you do.

But I’m presuming that wasn’t always an easy path. There would’ve been challenges in there, especially in those early days. 

It wasn’t easy for Yvette to quit her job and lifestyle of 17 years

Matt:               Was it a scary time to quit your job? How long had you worked at the fruit markets for? 

Yvette:            17 years.

Matt:               Okay. So, was it scary to quit that job?

Yvette:            Yes, it was.

To get up when the sun was up is something because I was always up before the sun. I had to work. As you said, I had four kids, so I had to work. And I didn’t only work at the markets. I also ironed for seven families, looked after other kids, and cleaned

By working online, she learned to stop trading time for money…

Yvette:            I worked seven days a week. I would finish at the markets, and then I would have another job that I would go to. Money was very important, and I couldn’t see a way of not putting in the hours or earning an hourly rate for pay. 

And so, learning about websites and using the computer allowed me to step back and think, “You know what? There is another way. I don’t have to trade time for money all the time.” 

There is a way that I can do this passively, set something up and let it tick along in the background.

…and was able to overcome her fear of computers

Yvette:            And was it scary? Yes, because I didn’t have the skills that I needed. I still had to learn everything and the skills I needed to make this work. 

I understood how to do websites once I got further into the course. But I still had to learn how to organize a computer. I used the old arch lever files with a piece of paper, learning how to put that into a folder and Googling things. I’ve always asked people, “How do I do this? Show me how to do this.”

And Jasmine would always say, “You have to Google it.” And I hated that! “Don’t keep telling me to Google things. Just tell me!” 

People would say, “What browser do you use?” And I’d always answer, “What would be a good answer for that?” And they’d say, “Chrome, Firefox.” Okay. Now, I understand what you’re talking about. I didn’t understand the words people were using to explain things. 

But now, on the flip side, it’s been a bit like riding a bike. You do it every day, and it gets easier.

Matt:               I think one of the things that we all admire about you is your persistence, drive, and confidence. And the big thing was that initially, you weren’t that confident. But today, you’re totally confident with all this.

See how Networking has changed Yvette’s online business

Matt:               I know life has changed in other ways for you that you didn’t expect. And we talk about that all the time. Through this journey, you’ve not only learned computer skills, but a large part of your journey (or success) is because you’ve gone out there and networked. 

How different is that for you, and how’s that changed your life? I’m sure some of the people you’re getting to talk to has been a bit unexpected, hasn’t it? 

Yvette:            Hugely. It’s a different world being a manual labourer. And in the workplace hierarchy, manual labourers are at the bottom. They’re a dime a dozen. 

She networks with high-profile business owners in Sydney

Yvette:            Today, I converse with high-net-worth people. I now network with incredible people, such as:

  • Royal commission lawyers. 
  • The first female president of the Australian Olympic Committee, who is now head of Australian trade.
  • People who have built up huge businesses. 
  • The lady that did the first 24-hour gym and brought it to Australia.
  • People at such the top end of society. 

You could thread these people through the eye of a needle at the top end, and I’ve got their phone numbers in my phone.

Matt:               And do you talk to them about how they should be doing this online and things like that?

Yvette:            I do, but quite often, I sit there and try and keep my mouth closed because they are just such inspirational people. 

But having said that, they are so humble. They are still people like me (the manual labourer), but they are doing such extraordinary things and changing our society. They’re changing how we deal with society and what we do in the community; they’re the real movers and shakers of Australia. And it’s cool that I’m chatting with them.

Matt:               Yes, and building websites.

Yvette:            Like building websites.

Networking gave Yvette the opportunity to build a big website for charity ski across Antarctica

Matt:               Now, you’ve got to mention the people you’ve been networking with lately, which could lead to something really big for you. Give it a plug!

Yvette:            Yes, so through this network, I’ve built the website for an Antarctic expedition. 

It is the first fully unsupported ski crossing of Antarctica that two fellows are doing. They are doing 110 days in Antarctica, pulling a 200-kilogram sled without anyone else. They’ve got to take all their food and everything, and it’s just extraordinary. 

If they make it, it’ll be similar to the man landing on the moon or someone going to Antarctica all that time ago. 

Thinking of the people I’m coming across today, who’d have thought I’d been dealing with an Antarctica expedition when you’re picking rotten tomatoes out of boxes?

Matt:               Yes, you’re building the website for a history-in-the-making expedition. You’ve put in a donation too, and the site’s gone really well, hasn’t it? 

Yvette:            Absolutely, yes. They’re doing fantastic. And again, just learning about what they must do to get through this is fascinating.

Yvette is now the 2nd highest earner in her Networking Group

Matt:               So, today, you’re building websites. Your average pricing is around $3,500, and you have also done many bigger ones between $6,000 – $7,000. You’ve also just quoted on a big build for $30,000, so really well done there. 

Over the last five years, you’ve built up your skill level, online confidence, and networking. And from an income point-of-view, you’re doing this full-time now.

You also told me that you just received an award in your networking group.

Yvette:            Yes, I’m the second highest income earner (revenue earner) in our network group.

Matt:               That is super cool. So, it’s taken about five years to get to that point, hasn’t it?

Yvette:            Yes. And look, it hasn’t been smooth sailing. I’ve had lots of setbacks.

Matt:               Absolutely. Yeah.

Yvette:            I’ve had rejections and things like that, but that’s all part of it. And you just keep going, one foot in front of the other.

You get rejected, and you just get up and step around it. There’s always a way. 

I know where I want to be and there’s always a way to get there.

Matt:               And you’ve done so well with that, just like many of our other Champion students have.

The journey to this point hasn’t always been easy, but Yvette always persisted and is now able to work from home

Matt:               You joined us on our recent Champions boot camp, and it was inspirational seeing what all the students have been up to. But your story is inspirational in itself. And that’s why I wanted you to share it with us today.

It’s important to record your story at this moment in time where people can say, “Hey, look at Yvette now.” We can see your past interviews with us and remember where you were back then in building your online journey. It was a scary time when you first got online.

And then, during COVID, as we all saw in our community, it was a real blessing in disguise for many of us because it forced us to work from home. And I remember you always wanted that as a goal.

See how Yvette is now earning semi-passive income in her spare time

Matt:               It’s exciting times for you now because you’re out there building quality websites for local businesses in Sydney, and you’re blitzing it.

But you actually started out buying and selling websites with Jasmine. So, let’s look back at the journey over the last five years because I know people probably think, “Well, what happened there?” 

You and Jasmine were obviously very successful with that. And you certainly earned while you learn, but that’s changed slightly, hasn’t it?

Yvette:            Yes, so I recently sold a lot of the first smaller websites I bought. And about a year ago, I bought some larger sites.

She made a decision last year to build her own portfolio of websites

Yvette:            My big thing was always about getting my agency up and running. And now that it’s going well, I’ve focused again on my portfolio of semi-passive websites.

In October last year, I thought, “Right, I’m going to build my own site as well.” 

Matt:               So, you listened to Matt. Good!

Yvette:            At the Champions boot camp last year, I thought, “Yeah, I will start building my portfolio again.” 

…and found a unique niche to build a passive website in

Yvette:            I just happened to come upon this weird sport that I’m sure most people in Australia would never have heard of.

Matt:               No.

Yvette:            But in America, it’s starting to trend well.

I’ve only had this site for about ten months, and I have doubled my earnings each month.

Matt:               All right.

Yvette:            This is a website I have built from scratch myself. I have written about 50 or 60 articles all by myself. I’ve never heard of this sport before, so this is something I’ve had to learn about.

But now that it’s doubling its income, I can bring on a writer to help me.

Matt:               That is awesome.

Yvette:            And it’s cool to learn about it all.

Matt:               I want to reiterate that this is a passive website. Liz and I teach people how to buy websites, but we also teach people how to build websites.

And this is something you can do part-time, which is what Yvette has done around her digital agency.

Within 10 months, Yvette’s semi-passive website now makes over $800 per month

Matt:               So, Yvette, this is an affiliate website. How much money do you make from it now? To help give people an idea over the ten months of building this thing yourself, what’s the income now?

Yvette:            Last month, it made $850.

Matt:               And it’s probably worth around 30 times that now because we’re seeing quite a few websites like this.

Yvette:            Show me the money, Matt. Show me the money.

Matt:               We’re seeing quite a few affiliate websites like yours. It’s semi-passive, so you’ve got to put content on it, but that’s because you’re growing it. 

So, if it’s making $850 a month, let’s multiply it by 30 (at least). Your website is probably worth around $25,000.

You could easily sell that. But obviously, you’re going to keep it because it just makes money while you sleep, doesn’t it? You don’t have to do anything to it.

Yvette:            No. And again, I love writing. It’s something that I really enjoy. So that’s my Saturday job. I just sit down, and I work on it on Saturdays.

Yvette is renovating and growing 5 sites in her portfolio in her spare time

Matt:               And you’ve sold off some of your sites very successfully. One of the sites was the one that Jasmine learned on. We talk about it all the time, where she bought it for $320 and sold it for $6,000.

Yvette:            That’s right.

Matt:               Not a bad way to earn while you learn. 

She is hiring writers who are experts in the niche to write website content

Matt:               And for your portfolio of websites, is your strategy to build and renovate your existing sites?

Yvette:            Yes. I now have five sites in total, and I’m hiring writers specifically for these. For example, one of them is a gaming website, so I have gone out there and said, “I want a gaming writer.”

Matt:               Because you look like a gamer? 🙂

Yvette:            Well, that’s another skill I’ve learned online. I now have a gaming writer. Gaming is his passion, so it makes it easier for him to write about it

And I’m now getting writers for specific niches I’m building my portfolio in.

Building a team is allowing Yvette to grow her portfolio AND digital agency

Matt:               By the sounds of it, you’re building your team too.

Your whole life, you’ve been swapping time for money. But now you’re learning, “Hey, I have these skills, and I can leverage this by outsourcing.” You can start bringing in more people to your team to help you.

Is that the next step in your agency? 

Yvette:            Correct. The aim is to be able to step back and just be the networker

I do already have a small team at the moment, but I want to expand that. So, the more work I can get, the more people I can employ to help me. It’s a win-win.

Matt:               And you’ve got your portfolio sites as well.

Yvette:            Yes.

Matt:               This is perfect. 

Yvette’s advice to other beginners starting online

Matt:               It is so unreal to see the change in your life over the last five years. And hats off to you. You’re such a go-getter. You never once let your foot off the accelerator. On that note, what advice do you have? 

You’ve been around us for five years, know our community well, and can identify with other people like yourself. So, looking back over your five years, what advice would you have for someone starting this journey? 

They might be looking up to you, Yvette, thinking, “Oh, man, you know so much.” 

1./ Work on your sites every day

Matt:               What’s your advice to someone starting today?

Yvette:            It’s something that you say all the time, “Just show up.”

I made a point of sitting down at my computer every day. Even if I thought, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” I would Google it.

I often had no idea, but I showed up every day because that was the habit I formed. And I always thought, “Right, just small steps. Get to here. And then once you’re here, get to there.” 

2./ There is always an answer – you just need to find it

Yvette:            Persistence defies defeat. There has to be a way to do anything. If someone else has already done it, you have to be able to do it. And it’s just finding that way and backing yourself.

And I always say to myself, “This too will pass.” I will get this; once I get it, it’ll be a memory, and then I can move on to bigger and better things.

Matt:               You can move on.

Yvette:            And as I said, I have come literally from nowhere to now; I have no fear whatsoever. I know I can do anything on a computer. Absolutely anything.

Matt:               Including building real virtual real estate. 

When you think about it, your skill level is there now. You can build ideas out of your head in some bizarre sport you’ve never even heard of before. You built this website; ten months later, it’s making $800 a month passively. 

When you think about it, that’s pretty impressive. To look back at that is so awesome.

Yvette:            Yes, it is.

Matt:               Mum of four blitzes it building passive websites. There we go. There’s the headline.

Yvette:            Make sure you put the word “blitzes” in it.

Matt:               Thank you so much, Yvette, for sharing your journey today. We’d love to keep up to date over the coming years to see where this leads to next. So, a big thank you for helping to inspire so many people in our community.

Yvette:            Thanks, Matt. It’s been fun.

Join our Masterclass if you want to learn how to retrain with digital skills

Matt:               If you’ve been inspired by Yvette and want to see where she started, jump onto our free masterclass, where we teach our whole strategy of buying and building websites. You’ll see Yvette and Jasmine’s site on that masterclass strategy. So, jump in there and have a look at the strategy and see if it’s something for you.