Elon Musk’s aerospace company is making big moves now that they’ve received over $885 million in federal subsidies from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. They’re not “taking over the Internet” but rather winning the race to make the Internet accessible across America (and eventually the globe) with their Starlink satellite-Internet project.
The program is led by the FCC and has raised over $20.4 billion from cell phone bills in hopes of getting Internet service providers to provide broadband access in the US where there’s basically no connection to the outside world.
A few other companies got funding too… SpaceX didn’t just snag it all away. Locations that have won in this will get download speeds at a minimum of 100 Megabits per second (so you can hear grandma yell at you over Zoom clearly). SpaceX will accomplish this by flying around 42,000 Starlink satellites in orbit to hopefully have the entire globe internet accessible. Not so sure that’s a good thing. This will (hopefully) generate around $30-50 billion in ARR which will help fund SpaceX missions.
The Aarmy Fights Back
Aarmy is a popular fitness startup from Trey Laird that claims its fame with trainers like Angel Manuel-Davis (who ran in the Olympics) was like any other NYC and LA-based fitness studio…
Expensive, cult-like, in-person fitness classes that could be SoulCycle’s brother. They of course had the same challenges once the pandemic hit, especially since these two cities have had brutal shutdown schedules.
Aamry pivoted by starting to offer fitness classes on Instagram Live and then came up with a subscription format for digital classes over summer (took them long enough). On one hand, you might think with backers like Karlie Kloss, Jay-Z and Chris Paul, what’s to worry? But on the other hand, with such strong investors with celebrity clout that help the brand, you don’t want to piss them off. Apparently they always had plans for an online aspect to their business and this just accelerated things.
Battling with perfectionism, the team didn’t have time to seriously plan out how they were going to launch, grow and scale their online platform. They just had to act and act fast. Surprisingly, Aarmy’s first subscription is only $35 per month or $350 a year. Maybe that’s why their conversion rate is over 70%.
It has been tough for trainers, though, who typically react and pivot live, in class based on the students wants and needs. Sessions have to be thoroughly planned out and can’t be changed in the act. Thanks to their strong branding, their apparel launch on Net-a-Porter has also been a hit.
A Tech Job Salary Can’t Beat This
Who needs a tech job when you’re making $20,000 a month bare minimum from your blog online? Carly Heitlinger (known online as “Carly the Prepster”) launched a blog in 2008 while she was attending Georgetown University, and started making $10,000 a month from affiliate sales.
After graduating, she did what any good scholar does and got a full-time job at a tech startup in NYC (#livingthedream). But… money talks and she was making way more cash from a blog instead of a stressful tech position.
Yes, Carly started before Instagram became “influencer-worthy” and when there weren’t as many blogs out there, but she kept on going even though it was a slow burn and she eventually received messages from small businesses all the way to large brands like Nordstroms who wanted to work with her.
Carly decided then that she should monetize her blog instead of just looking at it as a creative outlet. The volume kept turning up on companies that wanted her to feature their products or review them, so she knew she had to charge something.
At first it was for sponsored posts and banner ads. Again, since this was before the time of influencer agencies, she’d name a price and as soon as that price became too much of an easy yes for everyone, she would raise it (#proudbusinessmoment).
She didn’t leave her job immediately, though. She worked at the startup for about a year and just saved her entire salary instead. Smart move. Also, instead of going the LLC route, she went for an S-Corp because of the tax benefits. Now Carly has a manager at a talent agency who does all her negotiating for her. The agent only takes 15% of the profits and she makes about 35% of her income from commissions and 65% off her sponsored posts.
Sure, some may laugh at these “easy” routes, but at the end of the day, does it matter how you make your cash… especially if it’s consistent, growing and worth it? Have you ever thought about monetizing a blog or YouTube channel? Hit reply and tell us!