As I came off of one of the least productive weeks since officially launching Jason’s Epic Quest and my new life’s journey, I got to thinking about the best possible ways to continually keep the engine moving, increase my productivity, and avoid running into a wall like I did last week ever again.
Periods of unproductivity and creative slumps are normal experiences for all of us. It sucks, but each time it happens we can hopefully begin to figure out a little bit more about how they work and why they happen.
I now understand that the “snowball effect” is the biggest enemy here.
Taking a day off or sleeping in now and again isn’t bad at all. In fact, I am going to explain a little bit how to unplug properly.
The biggest thing to remember when taking some time off?
Don’t let the beast take hold.
If you do, it takes on a life of its own. A one-day break turns into two, three or four days off; makes you go on a food binge that’s followed by the dreaded food coma; which takes away your desire and energy and gives you the overall mundane feelings we all know and hate.
The whole key to this equation is how well (and quickly) you can shake off stagnation and move towards a point of continual creation. Nipping stagnation in the bud is important in order to prevent rolling down the mountain into a full on period of nothingness. Avoiding this nothingness is extremely important because on the other side of a funk, staring at all of the work that needs to be done and completed makes it that much harder, effectively prolonging your stagnation and making it more difficult to get back on track.
This post is nothing more than an attempt to get out of my funk immediately before it goes on for another week and begins to strangle my progress. Sometimes it is simply as easy as “just get back to work.”
Write for an hour, cross some easy things off your list, pay attention to small wins, no more zero days.
So here I am getting to work. In an effort to hold myself accountable, to log my failures and learn from them, and to share my successes with the #adventurepreneur community so you can duplicate them, I will be adding in a new regular posting series called “Quest Updates”.
Creating these updates and the progressive nature of building a community around them will give me no choice but to hit the gas pedal, even when I don’t think it’s possible.
So, keep a look out for these posts, as they might be the most actionable and important thing I put up on my blog. I will be as candid as possible and make sure that you can clearly see how and what I am doing in order to get it done yourself.
In this first post I am going to recap where I have been, not in order to brag at all, but in an effort to show you what is possible by walking down this path.
So…What have I done?
I wish I had a screenshot of my second month out of work, where I grossed over $5000 in revenue from my eBay business, but I don’t.
I do, however, have a screenshot of the next best thing, a snapshot from my March 2014 eBay statement this past year where I did over 5k in revenue again:
I have since had a fire sale with the inventory and shut down my involvement in the business, then subsequently made the absolute best connection possible for massive inventory buying, used the proceeds from my fire sale to reinvest in a massive quantity of inventory, and reopened shop.
I’m a standard case of the back and forth entrepreneur here, making decisions and plans (but all the while moving forward) for the future, only to see a massive opportunity and jump right back into the pool.
I really love ecommerce as a whole, so let’s just say that there is a sizable amount of it in my future, ventures including but not limited to physical product, dropshipped product, affiliate eCommerce, and online arbitrage.
Real Estate Investment Company
While I plan on throwing a lot of my investable dollars one day into cash-flowing properties (I have ambitions to be a massive Land Baron one day), this was an absolute nightmare to start.
My business partner and I planned on doing two things: First, get investors to lend us money to find and buy properties and second, start a property management company to run the properties. Make money on the in and the out.
Perfect plan, right?
Ever tried to manage a section 8 duplex in a less-than-stellar part of town?
It is not easy.
However, that’s ok, because we learned the one thing that all RE investors should know – HIRE a property manager. And that’s it.
You can get over 10% ROI in the real estate market and do NOTHING but collect rent checks so long as you have someone between you and the property that takes care of all the dirty work.
I have since sold my share in the property, but prior to that it put over $200 in the bank every month. The best thing is, we laid out $0 to buy it. (Yep. Zero)
Digital Marketing and Design Company
The darling company I have spent two years building, only to continually having to tear shit apart and rebuild.
Most of my current experience comes from the creation and launch of my web design and marketing company. It is here that I learned how to leverage the powers of website creation, outsourcing, site optimization, lead funnel creation, and sale of product.
It’s been a great learning process, but what a process it has been!
My entire skill set, from dealing with bad “business” breakups to learning to “lawyer-up” to firing real life employees was learned here.
I’d also have none of my true internet marketing savvy without it. I can now start a website in minutes, optimize anything digital for search engines, outsource a project and hire contractors in minutes, split-test a squeeze page or paid ad campaign like a boss.
But that’s not what you want to hear.
You want to hear what the balance sheet looks like.
Well, with a designer, developer, and company manger on board, I can finally say we are profitable. We have about 10 clients and I did roughly $1000 in profit THIS MONTH, with accounts receivable of roughly $1000 more.
Some clients pay us over $1000 a month to do this process for them, and this company is on its way to being run on autopilot.
This company will be sold soon as well, due to desire to focus on personal projects, but for someone interested in client work it is not a bad micro business if I do say so.
Where am I at today?
At the time of writing this, I have been “unemployed” for roughly two years, living off my savings, making a fair amount of money building businesses, failing, learning, and restarting countless times while digging a debt hole of monstrous proportions and slowly climbing back out.
Just last week I had my first ever (almost) $500 in sales day with my newly resurrected eBay business and had my first ever day of (almost) 500 blog visitors.
I’m pushing forward faster than ever, and I attest it to nothing more than picking a direction and walking it, all awhile taking massive action along the way
I’m only about a month into the true “launch” of my blog, and only about 2 months in to this new lifestyle as it as a whole, and I truly feel like I might actually be breaking out.
Not in terms of dollars yet, but in the past 10 days or so I have made exponentially more progress with my blog than in the past year.
After a month or so of really pushing social media and my blog, I have some decent metrics to go by.
From the looks of it, I am getting a daily average of:
- About 50-75 new Instagram followers
- Around 175 or so new Twitter followers
- About 20-30 new likes on Facebook
- 2-3 email subscribers
Some other cool things going on:
- Last week, I had 8 emails to answer with people seeking out my advice. And I couldn’t more happy to give it!
- I received my first promotional product to give away to the #adventurepreneur community. keep an eye out for that contest. Unless something changes, It will start on November 10th. 😉
- I had a bunch of Skype calls with a couple of amazing individuals who will undoubtedly help me expand my business and network.
- I had coffee with my first student.
- On Thursday last week, I did my first podcast interview, and have lined up a second one for Wednesday of this week.
- I am also getting together a mastermind group with a couple of rad individuals looking to get started on a quest of their own.
I hate talking about myself, and after I get all of this out on paper, it will be some of the last I do. However, this recap of what my Quest has allowed me to understand that it all of a sudden all feels really real. And I couldn’t be more stoked about taking this journey along side you guys.
So, after almost 3 years of entrepreneurship, what is my best piece of advice for you?
Don’t do it.
Just kidding. DO IT!
My advice is to do it, but make sure you do it right.
Totally do it. I mean totally, absolutely, 100% do it.
If you have the smallest inkling that you need more out of life, then start making plans TODAY. It has been the most liberating, sometimes frustrating, educational, sometimes stressful, amazing journey I have ever taken.
But I caution you to do it right.
See, I have a really big problem (blessing?) that gives me the courage (stupidity?) to dive head first into something with reckless abandon. And it is not pretty sometimes. In fact it’s not pretty most of the time. Knowing what I know now, I could ALREADY BE DONE with my quest to cover my bills and remove my debt if I had stayed at my high paying sales job and learned in my free time.
But I’m too anxious. I get my head set on something and can’t think about anything else. So between dealing with the anxiety attacks and my Father’s advice to stay at work while I figured it out (amazing advice as I later learned), I exploded inside and decided to jump ship.
This was dumb, per se. So when I say to “do it right”, this is what I am talking about. Read blogs like this. Spend your evening writing, or creating, or learning, so that you can fully understand the benefits (and consequences) of what it means to be a full time entrepreneur.
Do a bunch of stuff, even if it means joining clubs, taking yoga or Krav Maga classes, volunteering, whatever, just start doing a bunch of stuff. Learn a lot about yourself and a lot about what you love. Figure out your plan, start your plan, and make some traction in the 5 or so hours a day that you actually have after work.
Seriously, I used to sit on my ass and play Call of Duty all night then complain that I hated my job and had no idea what I really wanted out of life. If you watch Netflix all evening long, sit in a bar and drink all evening long, or play video games all evening long, you do not get to complain about not knowing what you want to do with your life and that your job is sucking the existence out of you.
You haven’t even tried to find it. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
The minute you start actually trying to figure out what is going to make you happy, you will become amazed at how you literally, like magic, begin to attract circumstances and situations in your life that will help you realize this. However, you have to do something about it, not binge on season after season of Breaking Bad.
When I finally realized that I wasted away a perfectly actionable chunk of time each day, I got really frustrated. I started to regret my initial actions. I was making so much money at my old job that I could have bought websites, paid people to blog for them, and invested so heavily in real estate that I would already be through the “building” stage in my Quest, and on to the “let’s talk about theadventures I do while everyone else works” stage.
But you know what they say. If I didn’t go through the motions, I wouldn’t know what I know now, and that regret is just a terrible form of mental masturbation. And they, whoever they are, are right.
Fortunately for you reading this, you get the benefit of some solid advice from someone who has been there. Use your free time and make something happen before you cross the line. And if you have already crossed the line, I commend the courage, and I hope you stay strong and keep going. It can be done.
So do it. Please do it.
It’s the reason I can finally spend more time in places that I love, and the reason I don’t have to wake up at 6:30 am to a blaring siren, shit/shower/shave in 8.42 minutes, and rush to work only to be yelled at/cussed at/hung up on while I make millions of dollars for some old rich guy.
I want to be that old rich guy someday and so do you. If you don’t make plans to improve your current situation, you never will be.
So with that in mind… I SAY DO IT!
And please, contact me, connect with me and let me know how you are getting it done. Let me know your plans and your dreams. I will help in anyway that I can… one of my favorite things to do is talk shop and offer solutions to challenges.
I am in the trenches right now, working on getting it done myself, and I want to be a part of a great community of like-minded people trying to do the same. Contact me here, connect with me here, or say hello here.
In my next Quest Update post I will be discussing where I plan to go with my blog and other business ventures. I am on a mission to travel and go on endless adventures, establish residual income businesses, and a find a way to help show other people how to do it as well. So, stay tuned for more juice.
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.