The long haul
I have had aspirations for business for as long as I can remember. As a child I would always stay up late watching the infomercials that talked about making money and running your own business. As I got older I realized that the infomercials were making their money by selling the products that were supposed to help you, but it was the possibility of what they offered that really drew me in.
When I went to college back in 1999 I started working with an administrator there who did web design for companies on the side. I had done sites for myself, but not really with the intent to make money. I think that was probably the first money I earned related to online, aside from selling stuff on ebay.
I went on to work with him for a few years and then branched out on my own, and picked up a few clients. I took care of their sites and needs for several years and then finally quit doing that around 2007. In that same year I started in a quest to make money online in other realms.
At the time I had already made web proxies for myself for personal uses, and then I discovered people made money off of them. So I got into the web proxy business. At the time it was the most money I had made in my life, as far as online on my own goes. My best month was around $1500. I even wrote an ebook on the subject and that turned out to be a great success as well. It was my first digital product I sold.
While web proxies worked well for me at the time, they didn’t have a lot of residual income. So I eventually faded those out and tried to get into sites that made income from ads such as adsense. It put in a lot of hours and a lot of time and never even made as much as proxies.
In 2009 I needed income around Christmas time to pay the bills. So I found a need online and started offering lists and services of various sorts. Grunt work really, but it made money. I would work at my day job on my lunch hour, work when I came home at night, work in the mornings, work on my days off. Its pretty much been that way for the past 10 years, but more so for the past 4 years.
Then in early 2010 I discovered Scrapebox. I purchased it for $47 at the time, and that was a lot to me to come up with as we were struggling. I first applied it to automate some of what I was already doing. But over a few months those services fizzled out. Then in April I needed more money so I started new services with scrapebox. Those went well and evolved over the coming months.
One of the things I picked up along the way was the importance of books and learning. I read “The Dip” by Seth Godin, and it changed my life. I decided for 2010 that my dip was going to be Scrapebox. In September of that year I finally felt I was getting a solid handle on Scrapebox and I started offering other products and services for SEO and link building.
As I neared the end of 2010 I was making more money then I had ever made in my life online, and was making huge headway in my plans to one day be full time IM.
At the end of every year I take time on new years even not to make a new years resolution, but to ponder where I might be at the end of the coming year. At the end of 09 I was earning a little money online and had hope, but 2010 didn’t seem like it might be an excellent year. At the end of 2010 I knew I had been blessed and I was making solid money and I hoped it would continue so I could get that much closer to quitting my day job. But I figured maybe by 2012 -2013 I might get there, hopefully.
Then in the first week of 2011 I ran into some possibilities and was taken aback. I couldn’t believe I was fortunate enough to have landed where I did. Life had presented me with the opportunity to start planning to leave my day job. So I followed thru with all the financial advice from Dave Ramsey and paid off the rest of my debt, and built up my emergency fund.
Today I sit debt free except for my house, with about 3 months expenses in the bank and April 13th I will be full time in IM.
Allthe long days, working before and after my day job, working 7 days a week, learning, testing, not getting to see my family as much as I wanted, its all starting to pay off. God is good, and I am grateful for my opportunities.
Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, comes to mind – “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
FREEDOM! I look forward to working full time IM, and working harder then I ever have in my life. 🙂