For Entrepreneurs

How I Make an Income + a Pretty Amazing Impact

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My name is Elena and I'm a Multi-passionate, writer, wife, and mama of four. These days, I'm all about putting pen to paper, sharing the wisdom and resources I've gathered so you, too, can create something unapologetically beautiful and authentically you.

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Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself…”I know she has a business and doing really well, but what exactly does she do…and how does she actually make an income?!” In this article, I’m going to pull back the curtains and tell you all about my business, how I make an income (and a pretty amazing impact too).

I was talking to a friend and found that although she knew I had a business (for a long time now). She had no idea how I actually made an income and how I got my business to where it is today. I loved that she came out and just asked me more about what I was doing with my business, how I was making an income, and how it all came together. (SPOILER: My business is FAR from where it used to be).

As we finished my conversation, I thought about how maybe others had the same curious questions but just didn’t know how to ask. Which I totally get. I remember when I started my business how little I knew about business structure and all the different incomes you could make. I didn’t even know passive income was a thing since all I knew was the very simple concept of working for an hourly wage.


I thought what I did was pretty clear, but maybe it’s just like that because I’ve lived it for 10+ years. So for the sake of being transparent and pulling back the curtains to those who might be wondering the same thing, here’s everything you ever wanted to know about how I make an income (and a pretty amazing impact too). Over the years, my business has changed, and so has the strategy behind how I make an income. Below I’ll go over everything you might be wondering about. And hopefully, it gives you some ideas on adding these types of income streams to your own business too.



I started as a photographer, which is probably the most simple income to explain. Clients hired me for a service. As much as I loved this little business I built, the one downfall was the time I had to spend away from my family. Shooting sessions all week and weddings on the weekend didn’t leave me with the greatest work/life balance.

If you currently have a service-based business, you knooooow the struggle!

To build a sustainable business, I knew I had to build a business that allowed me to do what I loved while not giving away all my time. I wanted to be able to spend more with the people I loved.

PASSIVE INCOME (With Digital Products)

Eventually, I started selling digital products. (think downloadable digital products). This can be anything from an ebook, a digital backdrop, online courses, presets, or templates. And this really opened my eyes to a new kind of income. PASSIVE INCOME.

This allowed me to focus on creating one digital product that I could sell over and over again while spending more time at home with my little ones.

I’ve created over 700 digital products over the years but am most known for my preset collections made for professional photographers and creatives looking to elevate their photography.

TIP: If your business doesn’t currently have this kind of income, I highly recommend adding it because it really makes such a big difference when you’re just one person who’s constantly dependent on selling their service or one of a kind products. And it might be a whole lot easier to add than you might think. This doesn’t mean you have to flip your entire business around. Look at it as a new income addition to your already established business.


With a CRM Software

Over the last five years, I also built a CRM software called The Essential Studio Manager with my husband. (This company was recently acquired ?). But just like my digital products that generated passive income, it collected monthly payments from active users for using the CRM. Photographers use it to manage all aspects of their business with one tool that’s really easy to use.

It’s just like regular passive income, but it repeats monthly for as long as the customer continues using the software.


Digital Membership/Subscription

I launched Wordsmith in 2021, a digital subscription-based company that generates; you guessed it…passive recurring income by providing monthly professional social media captions for entrepreneurs looking to connect with more clients and customers online.

Are you seeing a trend yet?

Being 10+ years in, I’ve done many different things, everything from service-based, softwares, memberships, and digital products. I have some big ideas for the future that will continue focusing on creating products and services to help entrepreneurs with their businesses. 

Today, about 90% of my focus is on creating resources that generate passive income and 10% on one-off service-based services.

A complete swap from when I first started, and 100% of my income came from being hired for one service.

But you know what the best part is, aside from being able to spend my time working on projects that I love and having more time to spend with my family?

Taking a portion of our income and sponsoring children through Save the Children, one of my favorite non-profits. There’s a special connection with each child, and we have a big binder of photos, letters, and a big world map we’ve used to mark our sponsored children’s locations. Each time we add a new sponsored child to our list, my oldest son helps me with the process.

Although I do many different things, at the core of my business, I want to create something that has a positive impact around the world. Have that be by helping business owners or sponsoring more children around the world.

I hope this quick article gave you some insight into the income you could make with your business. Remember – consider passive income as an addition to your already established business.

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How I Make an Income


I'm Elena, your


CEO friend.

Multi-passionate, CEO of multiple companies, mama of four, obsessed with all things business and marketing, ready to help you attract your ideal client and customer. My goal is to give you the strategies and tools to grow your business so you can save time, get real results and focus on what matters most.

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