8 min 38 sec

Pre-Made Meals Bring In $5,500/Month After Layoff

After losing her job, this digital marketer turns to the kitchen, where she whips up pre-made meals and launches a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Crowdfunding Food Power of Observation Service Unique Ideas

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What It's About

After cooking for a family member in need, a woman learns to sell "mostly made" meals.

Business Model
Skills Required
Cooking & Power of Observation
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Worried about crowdfunding? Here are some fantastic words of wisdom from Jillian:

"Spend at least two months prior to launching your Kickstarter collecting email addresses and leads through social media and other ad campaigns because you'll have to bring in most of your own backers. In most campaigns, 80% will come from your personal network, so don't launch until you have collected at least 15x more email leads than backers needed.

For example, if you want to raise $5,000 and anticipate needing 50 backers to meet your goal, collect at least 750 email leads (assume only a fraction of people will covert)."

Fun Fact

The recipe development for Mostly Made took a year, and it was really challenging at times. Jillian even said that for a while, it felt like things weren't going to make it.

She felt that she needed to become a badass, so she cut off all of her hair. No more girlish French braids or ponytails! She'd had long hair since she was born, so this was sort of impulsive and drastic. She gave her 14" ponytail to a charity that makes wigs for kids with cancer, and that's how she justified the haircut: charitable. Jillian just needed to prove to herself that she was capable of taking risks!

Notes from Chris

Episode 555
Two years ago Jillian McGary was working as a digital marketer and affiliate manager. She didn’t enjoy the job so much and was often on the lookout for opportunities to make money elsewhere. Ten years ago, she and her brother launched SnowProfessor.com, a site of learn-to-snowboard videos. While the site received significant traffic and over nine million Youtube views, it never made much money. However, Jillian loved the process and had a yearning to try again.

Fast forward eight years and Jillian was working a day job when her family received some tragic news. Her sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. The whole family pulled together to do anything they could to help. For Jillian, that meant making the family pre-cooked meals they could reheat whenever they wanted without having to worry about cooking.

Although she was no culinary mastermind—by her own admission—she developed a knack for creating meals that were easy to produce en masse and still delicious after re-heating. She also began exploring the idea of creating her own food brand while still employed…

At the beginning of 2017, she lost her job… and she says it was the best thing that ever happened to her. She decided to take her time and savings of $18,000 and invest it into creating a side hustle, which now, by default, became her full-time gig. She called the business ‘Mostly Made,’ and it would provide pre-packaged meal kits for people to prepare at home. All they’d have to do was add their favorite vegetables.

In February 2018, a year after her Kickstarter campaign ended, Jillian had the first batch of Mostly Made meals delivered to customers.

Just how much success is that? Well, the current revenue generated by Mostly Made is $5500/month. While that may seem like a lot, the profit margins are rather slim so there is a way to go before this becomes a really profitable exercise.

However, Jillian is up for the challenge and, as she never took on a full-time job after losing her last one, she has plenty of time to dedicate to Mostly Made. It’s true that launching a successful food business can be difficult, but it seems Jillian has mostly made it!


  • Mostly Made: When you need a little help, Jillian is there to give you a helping hand—learn more over on her website!
  • Kickstarter | Mostly Made: The Kickstarter campaign that started it all!

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"Prior to launching your side hustle, do a ton of market research. Look for reasons to back out. Be a critic and poke holes in your plan.​"
—Jillian McGary #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau