I want to come of the gates swinging here, so I really took some time putting this post together.
You obviously need to learn a lot about me and what I’m doing here before you decide to come back and read some more, so there might be some storytelling involved.
If I do it properly though, you’ll walk away from the first read on my blog with a little bit of laughter and some overall good advice about dealing with the hardships and happy times when beginning your Quest.
Let’s start off with the fact that I’m a little crazy.
The year I quit my job, I made $94,000.
Maybe I’m from the generation that just doesn’t think sitting behind a desk for most of their life sounds like a life at all, or maybe I just have the entrepreneurial spirit. I don’t know, but something inside of me just couldn’t take being forced to do something for someone else all day long anymore. I figured with a bunch of hard work and overcoming a couple of failures, I’d be able to figure this entrepreneur thing out eventually. After all, I’m a smart kid.
I feel that if you look in the right spot, you can see and understand certain things about a business. Whenever a dollar is made or a job done, I tend to deconstruct the scenario and see where the money is coming from and where it’s going.
It’s probably the economist in me, but this makes it easy to think that you can replicate the process for yourself. Plus I prefer being in the woods on a bike over being in the office, and being on a bike in the woods certainly wouldn’t need a $94k salary. I got the grandest idea that in a years’ time tops, I could be well on my way to riches… so I quit.
Then there was the time I spent all day dressing a Mannequin.
Oh eBay. My first love.
I cut my teeth in the internet world like a lot of people do these days, simply by selling stuff online utilizing the purest form of American Capitalism… buy low and sell high.
I knew and had read about niches and niching down, so I took a product people were always buying, clothes. Next, I went one step further down into a product I was kind of passionate about. I was an athlete and always was in need of and used athletic apparel, so I knew enough about pricing to understand where I would need to buy it to be profitable.
Immediately after I quit my job, I went full on into it.
I registered a business, found suppliers, bought product, created an eBay store and the rest is history. In my second month I did $5000 in sales and knew I’d never have to go to work again.
The picture below was taken on a hike in Antelope Valley State Park just out of Salt Lake City. At the time I was in my 3rd month of business, and when I got down off the mountain, I was able to get phone service again to check my email.
And that was it. The defining moment in my life.
I turned on my phone to find emails from paypal notifying me I had 5 new payments. I was sold. The warm fuzzy feeling hit me:
I was hiking and making money at the same time.
Living the dream?
I hit a play period now that I had something good in the works. I spent a month Mountain Biking in Western North Carolina, traveled to see my nephew and sister all the time in Tampa, Boarded in the big mountains out west for the first time, etc.
I was in heaven. I created an income stream that more or less could support me, and I only had to answer to myself. This was easily one of the best feelings in the world.
Come about a year or so down the road, I started realize this wasn’t exactly the business model I was looking for. Inventory started to become harder to come by, and the unfortunate part is that this business did truly keep me kind of in one spot. There are some other issues (but learning experiences) involved with this business that I will write about in depth at a later point, like shipping fulfillment when you are in Utah and your inventory is in Florida, but the ultimate end to this chapter was that I decided to move on.
If I was going to be involved in eCommerce, it was going to need to be a dropshipped product. I knew that I needed something different that would allow me to be more mobile; to not need to be physically present to make things run.
From this point forward, a couple of hours each day were dedicated to my eBay business, and the rest devoted to starting and creating as many different things as I possibly could. I can count more than 15 business ventures that transpired during this period. Many never made it past the initial research and development but others did, including the full blown digital marketing agency that I still run today.
Regret isn’t the right word when I think about starting these businesses, but sometimes I feel something similar to it when I think about the fact that 2 YEARS AGO I was ready to start this blog.
If I would have been focusing on this blog for the last two years, I would definitely have something significant running here. I had marketable knowledge from my eBay business, as well as a small income. I could have started then. But I needed to take the path I did, as I am very leveled-up version of myself now because of it. And now I’m definitely read to start this new Quest.
By following the path I did, I’ve learned INVALUABLE information about how to create income streams that use the internet (and also create some that don’t use the internet) and can whip a professionally designed web site up in less than a week. Those are a couple of great skills to have when your blog is about freeing yourself from the confines of a job in order to live on your own terms.
Money runs out quick!
So here I am today.
After selling off all of my inventory from the eCommerce business, I decided to chase a dream of mine that involved living in the Mountains. With the income from my marketing agency serving as the wind behind my sails, I packed up my life and moved it to Denver, CO.
Some of you know that in the last few months, after relocating my life, I began to realize the overwhelming reality of my terrible, terrible debt situation. In panic mode, with rent due and needing to potentially buy a car very soon, I began furiously searching for a job.
And a corporate, career position as well.
Why in the hell would I do this?
I left once because it was soul sucking, so why would I every consider doing it again?
I don’t have an answer, really. The emotions stemming from the realization that I was going broke forced me to have to really sit down, evaluate things, and make a couple of tough decisions. I wasn’t going to rule out anything, because if I needed to take a “real job” for a couple of years, start over an do it right this time, then I would.
Whatever it takes, ya know?
Well, to make a long story short, I took the first job that came my way: selling.
Andddddddd (obviously) I proceeded to quit exactly one month later.
I made some sales and was pretty sure I could make good money continuing on, but the daily grind of interrupting someone’s day to try to sell them something they didn’t want…yea no thanks. Can’t do that any more. No way.
“If I am going to get a job, it’s gotta be in an industry I like or doing something I love”, was my thought afterwards and from that point on, I was on a mission. I considered everything closely related to my skills and passions, so long as it had nothing to do with selling.
After a few rejection letters, a few more interviews I couldn’t bear, and realizing that I could not handle 8 hours a day at a desk and understand that I NEVER want to work for someone again , I hit that “need a job now” point.
You know… It’s that point when you realize you will be able to pay your bills this month, but next month the game is over.
It’s a pretty scary point to hit.
In a whirlwind of panic, I grabbed the first job I could find. I took a job as a bike messenger for 3-4 hours a day during the lunch shift delivering sandwiches to pay the bills. I kind of think that the universe was leading my to this point though, because after my first day on the job, I realized that I finally had everything I need.
As it turns out, with tips, I could make about $50 per shift. By taking this job, I had achieved a very important milestone in my Quest.
That night, overwhelmed with excitement that someone, quite literally, was going to pay me $15 an hour (half of which is paid in cash) to RIDE A BIKE AROUND THE CITY?
“You have to be joking.” I said to myself.
My problem was solved, all because of a silly, throw away job. I know what you are thinking. How in the world is $50 per day going to pay your bills?
So damn close I can taste it.
See, right now, I’m somewhere between I have it and I want it…I guess the state is best described as “almost there.” With in-my-pocket profits now averaging over 1k/mth from my design and marketing company (note: profits are actually higher than that, my partner gets his share as well), I can pay every bill that I have with a part-time job only.
That means no more corporate, full time job… EVER.
This situation allows me to spend part of my time getting paid to bike the city of Denver and spend the rest of my day building my web properties and businesses. It’s an amazingly perfect solution to my desire to keep building my own business and pay my bills at the same time.
I didn’t have this milestone on my list, but it’s a super important step in my process to ditch money worries and job woes for good. I have the time to work on building up my assets each day and the money to take care of my bills.
It’s such a great situation and it gives me so much confidence, conviction, and fire to really push hard for what I want.
Don’t be afraid to take a job in order to keep doing what you love.
A few years back I decided to live my life chasing dreams.
I decided to stop going against my natural grain and try my hardest to turn my life into something significant…something I would be proud to show people. I got lost along the way, slightly misdirected, and in over my head a couple of times, but I never gave up.
I almost had to…I almost had no choice. The reason I wrote this post is to let you know you might just have another option. So do it if you want to, do it if you have to, but don’t give up just yet. There is success on the other side of the difficult times, this I now know.
After taking the job, realizing I still had the time to run my business, and making it work, the Quest is back on!
My eBook “Top 7 Mistakes Newbies Make When Trying to Quit Their Job and Build a Business” is available for download for free. It’s the first of many guides I am sharing to help you make your own e-business so you can enjoy the freedom doing what you want, when you want.