After Five Years of Struggling Here’s What You Need To Know About Building An Online Business Starting From Scratch…
From the desk of:
Digital DIY Geek
South Of The Windy City
Sunday 1:32 A.M
Dear: Solo Preneur,
Warning: This isn’t going to be a run of the mill story.
I’m going to be sharing my real story with you, with the hopes of not only inspiring you, but I also want you to learn a lesson that took me almost 5 years.
But, you have to see it for yourself, it’s not something I can tell you.
It has to be your big “Ah Ha Moment.”
So, you want to know my story?
Well, grab a drink, I have a medicine ball from Starbucks.
I know, I spent $5 on a tea.
For me to tell you my true story and be 100% transparent, I have to take you back to July 4, 2007, but first, we have to go back to the promise I made to myself walking to school one day crying.
Here’s my story…
Growing up I was that shy kid who always had on a pair of headphones on listening to my walk-man, CD player and eventually my iPod.
I wish I could tell you that I was a straight “A” student, but the truth is I wasn’t, I was more of a D’s & F’s student.
It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t win. This was super frustrating to me because I watch people around me do the same work, and everything just clicks for them.
Eventually, I would go on to believe I had a learning disability, bouncing from Learning Disability Classes to Behavioral Disorder Classes.
Needless to say, growing up thinking that I was slow, or something was wrong with me made me not want to try.
I became the #1 class clown in the school, it wasn’t a teacher who didn’t know me. I didn’t understand how to do the work, and at that time I was moving from foster home to foster home.
At some point, I just stop caring and my action showed it, I did things like pierced my own ear and be disruptive in class to avoid having to do my class work.
Back then I cared what people thought of me, so reading in front of the class or having to do spelling test was a nightmare.
All that would come to an end, one day I overslept, and my foster mother decided to wake me up by whipping me.
As I cried, walking to school, I remember I was about 11 years old, and I promise myself I wouldn’t let anyone else put their hands on me, and I just take it. If I wanted something, I would go for it no matter what someone else said or thought.
I can honestly say, I have kept this promise to myself. It has gotten me in trouble more times then I care to share, but I kept my promise.
After that, I would go on to believe, I can do anything I put my mind to, no matter how bad I might be when I first started.
My superpower came from never saying no and just out hustling everyone, this is why I have always been in management since my 2nd job at Popeye’s.
By 2007 I had it all.
I often looked back at my childhood and was happy it happened to me. I realized that because of my childhood, I was mentally tougher than most people.
I learned at a young age to spend my time trying to figure out how to fix the problem and keep working it from different angles until I get it.
While most people just talked about how bad things were, or how they weren’t happy about it, for me everything was a learning experience.
My favorite line was okay, they won’t get me like that again…
By the beginning 0f 2007, I was a working two jobs, because I knew I had to work harder then most if I wanted the lifestyle, I pictured as a kid.
By the age of 24, I had everything I could want, I had a 2007 Ford Five Hundred SEL, 2007 Kawasaki Motorcycle, and a healthy bank account with every game system and video game I wanted.
You see I worked hard because I wanted to prove everyone wrong who said I wasn’t going to be anything…
Even when I was back in Kansas City with my biological mother, when I was 7 and 8 I always knew I was going to be a millionaire.
I didn’t know how because I didn’t have any skills that would make me famous, but I always believe I would be a millionaire.
Throughout my entire life, I never let that dream fade to black. Needless to say, going into to 2007 I thought I was living the life, I didn’t have any biological kids but my girl at the time had a son, so that was fun.
It was July 4, 2007, and I was coming off a double shift, I had made it home, but I wanted a slice of pizza.
Instead of jumping in the car like I should have done, I decided to stay on my motorcycle.
Riding down 76th and Ashland, I was in a motorcycle accident.
My entire life had just changed in the blink of an eye, I couldn’t see it at the time.
I broke my collarbone, bust my head and had road rashes everywhere. My gear was at home hanging on the chair, and my helmet was hanging on the back of my bike.
Not my smartest hour.
You see I had never planned on being hurt and not being able to work. Losing my job sure, I wasn’t worried about it I been there before, I learned from it and moved on.
It came to a point when I didn’t want to take my car out of the garage because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep it.
The phone calls had started coming in, and I had been off work for the better part of a year, and my car note was 3 months past due.
I had lost my motorcycle in the accident, while at the hospital someone stole it and I didn’t have an M license so the insurance company wouldn’t cover it.
I had gone from walking in restaurants being able to pick out anything I wanted without looking at prices on the menu, to ordering by what I could afford on the menu.
Not being able to get up and go to work, or going to the store coming out hoping my car was still in the parking lot really challenged me mentally.
After the accident I was stuck sleeping on the couch, rolling on my knees to stand up because I couldn’t physically stand up due to the pain.
You couple that with me refusing to take pain medicine and it was one of the hardest times in my life.
It was during that time that I promise myself I would learn how to be an entrepreneur.
I never wanted my time tied to how I make money again, I had just learned first hand what it felt like when you retire and live on less than half of what you use to earn.
It was late 2008, and I was walking in the pawn shop with all my game systems, controllers and games.
Because I was such a good customer in the past, the lady decided to give me $600.00 because she figured I was coming back for it.
What she didn’t know is, by this time my car note was almost 5 months behind and I was trying to show Capital One that I was trying.
The Birth of Solo preneur
After coming from the pawnshop, I stop and fill up my car, when I made it home I had received two tickets in the mail to go learn about grant writing.
I took my girl with me because I had two tickets and I thought she might enjoy it too.
As I sat in the back watching this guy talk about how you can get money from the government to start a business, he had me hook.
I would quickly find out that I couldn’t afford his offer, it cost $1,000.00 just to get started with his deal.
But, before I could get up and leave an older white guy walked up to the front of the room and asked if it would be okay for him to show us how to make an extra $1,000.00 so we could afford the grant writing course.
He had me with the first sentence.
I watched as he started out showing us how you could make money online, using the same type of software as eBay.
The idea was simple you hold these auctions using their software tool which was $29.97 per month.
But, you also needed a 1-800 number for customer service, so that was $19.99, and it came with a CD that allowed you to install a pre-done website on your computer.
While all that sounded good to me, I was broke I had $568 in my pocket, and I still needed $1.50 to get a money order to send in a payment for my car note.
Then the guy asked how are we going to collect the money from our site, that’s when he started talking to us about a merchant account.
In 2008 it was super hard to get a merchant account, but his company would guarantee you get a merchant account but it would cost you $500.00 with an ongoing payment of $29.99 plus 3% of each sale.
I was willing to walk away from the deal, but then he started talking about how you can buy these mysterious boxes and at wholesale prices and use that to get your site going.
I could see myself doing it, but I didn’t know anything about the internet, and up until that point I had no idea people were making money from the internet.
Then he shared a story of how his son wanted a dirt bike, and he said he made his son come up with half the money, which was around $1,200.00.
He showed pictures of his son putting up flyers to his site and selling stuff. By the end of the presentation, he showed us pictures of his son in a black and green biker outfit with a black and green dirt bike.
He said not only did his son have enough for the half of his dirt bike, but he was also able to get all his gear.
At that moment I looked to my left and asked my girl what did she think I should do, she already knew I was going to do it.
She just said the car note is already behind 4 months so what’s another month.
I told her I was going to go for it and spent almost every dime I had to start that business.
I walked out with about 11 bucks in my pocket because the man said I was going to need an extra cd for when my business start growing I was going to want more than one site.
It didn’t take me long to realize this was a terrible deal, as I knew nothing about this business and didn’t have anyone I could turn to for answers.
I kept up with the payments on the product for about 4 months.
Late one night sitting at the computer I was inside the members portal trying to figure out how to get my first auction up and running…
That’s when it hit me, even if I could get my auction software to work, it didn’t matter because I didn’t have anything to sell, plus I was behind on my bill for the 1-800 number.
I decided that night to cut my losses and drop that business.
My 2nd Attempt at Building A Business…
It was the summer of 2009 and my boss son ask me to meet up with him, he wanted to show me something.
I asked him what it was, but he said he couldn’t tell me about it, he had to show me.
Truth be told I didn’t want to go, but due to him being my boss son, I met up with him.
I Have to be honest, I didn’t want any part of the network marketing company he had just shown me on a clipboard.
Later on that week my boss asked me to come out to a presentation, this time I knew I was being sold something, unlike the first time.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and a guy by the name of Steve Carter was presenting the opportunity.
I have to say he had my attention, but the entire time, I was there I was thinking who could I show this too.
After the presentation, he did a quick start, and during that training, he said we are in the peoples business, and people are all around us.
That made a lot of sense to me too, so I borrowed $700.00 from my boss, which of that $700.00 it cost $500.00 to start and $200.00 for the products and services I needed.
This time around was going to be different, I actually had someone I could ask questions to, and my success was tied to theirs…
So, I thought.
The very first thing I did was jump into training head first to learn what I needed to know, about the company and products.
After learning an enough, I had my first home party, while I had a few people show up no one signed up.
But, that was okay…
I really didn’t want to work with my family members, so I looked at this as a test run.
Fast forward to July 2013 I decided to drop my network marketing business.
But, not before trying every single product and software that promise to get me leads and new reps in my business.
Over the next 4 years, I would go on to spend every single dime I had chasing money.
During that time, I wanted to prove people wrong so badly that I was willing to bankrupt myself.
It was the first time in a long time, I felt like that 11-year-old helpless boy walking to school.
I hated that feeling, so I just put more money into products and services, trying to find the secret.
It had gotten to the point that I was convinced that the answers I was looking for were locked away in the $1,997 information products.
At that point, I had tried MLSP, Empower Network, a ton of JVZoo Products and handful of Clickbank products.
Like I said, anyone who said they crack the code or told me to copy their system or had a plug and play system I was buying it.
That was even better.
I could get traffic at the push of a button?
Okay, where do I sign up at?
It had gotten so bad, that I was skipping paying my bills to grab information products because I just couldn’t figure out what I was missing.
I remember, I was on a webinar one day and I convinced myself that if I could get Cross Channel Mojo, I would finally get the answers I was seeking.
After all, I picked up courses for $7, $37, $97, $67, $197 and up to $497 and none of them gave me the answer.
I took a deep breath, and I told myself, no matter what it cost. I would be picking up Cross Channel Mojo.
If you were online at that time, you know it was so many people doing product launches to the point where it was funny.
Back then you honestly thought you were missing out, and everyone was selling at the push of a button.
But, Mike Koenigs at that time was running Traffic Geyser, and he was known for being a guru to the gurus.
Cross Channel Mojo would go on to cost me $2697 plus after six months I would have to pay $297 a month for Instant Customer.
I didn’t care, I figured in six months I should be able to afford $297 a month if I put my head down and just work hard.
While sitting at the computer inputting my debit card information I was super excited, I’m finally about to find out the secrets to building my home based business.
I clicked the buy now button, skipped passed all the one time offers and jump into the member’s area…
Okay, this doesn’t look any different from all the other information products I been buying.
I click on the first video and start listening, I instantly knew I had made a big mistake, this wasn’t new information it was much more of the same.
I wish I could tell you that after that I quit spending money on getting rich quick stuff, but I hated feeling like that hopeless kid.
I was willing to pay any amount of money to prove to myself that I could build a successful online business.
Everything would come to a head when my girlfriend called me out one night.
We were talking about how I was going to be rich and how I just picked up a new software tool that was going to change our lives.
She basically, told me that she sees me spending a ton of money, but she doesn’t see any money coming back in, she wanted to get a 2nd job, and I told her no.
I told her I finally had a way to make money off people who said no to my MLM business.
It wasn’t too long after that I picked up Posting on Purpose for Profits which was like $47, and I grab Predatory SEO by Rob Fore.
I remember thinking to myself, this is really good and I could really see this working.
The problem was more of the same, like with the products I picked up in the past, I spent all my money to buy the course.
In this case, the course cost $297 but if you wanted to apply what he was teaching you was easily knocking at close to if not $1,000.00 with most of that being recurring billing.
By this time, I already had so many different things I was paying for to the point where it was easier for me to just report my card as lost or stolen every 5 to 6 months.
It seemed like everyday something was hitting my account throwing me into the negative.
Back then, S.E.O tools was a huge deal, and I had to own most of them.
During this time, forced continuity was dying, so companies were giving $1 trials or free 30 day trials away to try their product.
I was doing most of them, but I was forgetting to cancel my membership before billing.
It had become evident that the problem my girl pointed out was obvious, but I couldn’t see myself quitting network marketing.
I couldn’t throw in the towel or be one of the people that jump from company to company, no I had to make this work.
If I gave up on being an entrepreneur now, that meant I lost everything.
The next day I was listening, to Tony Robins Lesson In Mastery CD Course.
On one of the CD’s, he said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.
I had heard that before, but it’s what he said afterward that would change my life and the direction of my business.
He said, “you have to be willing to change up your approach when something isn’t working.”
That hit me like a ton of bricks while I was driving because it had never occurred to me that I could quit network marketing without giving up on my dreams.
That was the last time, I spent money just because someone said I could make a lot of money or showed some stats.
I was no better than the people who spent ungodly amounts of money trying to win the lottery.
I have spent more money trying to make money online then I care to admit.
From jumping on planes going to events to spending all my checks on information products and software.
I was an information junky searching for a get rich quick method.
After that day in the car, I walked away from network marketing, shutting down all my websites and I have never looked back until now.
In the past four in half or five years in the network marketing niche, I made a grand total of about $137.15 give or take a few pennies.
This didn’t even cover my $700.00 investment to get started in network marketing.
Not including me buying MacBook Pro’s, Cameras, Tablets, tripods, microphones and so much more gear.
Not only was I buying information like crazy…
I thought my lack of gear was holding me back too, I would tell myself if I could just get a MacBook Pro I could build my business…
Then it was if I could just get a Camcorder…
Then it was if I could just get a DSLR camera…
I had a ton of “If I could just get X I could build my business,” I would imagine all the different ways I would use it to help me build my business, and in most cases, it never happens.
My 3rd Time Around Building A Business…
This time around, I knew I didn’t want a business that was tied to what someone else may or may not do.
I wanted my results to be based on my efforts and my efforts alone.
I also didn’t want another super high price system or business model that just didn’t work.
Late one night while surfing the internet looking for ways to make money, without a lot of upfront capital I came across Lisa Irby channel where she talked about affiliate marketing and creating websites.
While I wasn’t ready to really jump off the cliff yet, I did like what affiliate marketing had to offer.
I decided to try my hand at affiliate marketing. I spent the next week at my laptop, often times until 4 in the morning.
I wanted to promote something that made sense and more importantly I wanted to do things my way.
This time around if I fail, I wanted it to be because I drop the ball and not because I was spending all my money on products and services or listening to my up-line.
Somewhere down the road I stopped listening to that inner voice and started thinking someone else was going to make me successful.
I stepped into the world of entrepreneurship because in 2007 I lost everything because I couldn’t work anymore and I wanted to make sure nothing like that would ever happen to me again.
After stepping into this world, I wanted so badly to be a successful Solo Preneur with the goal of growing my business a lot bigger than me.
The problem is to do that or to become that person, I couldn’t be scared to make mistakes.
On August 1, 2013, I decided to create a review video promoting OptimizePress 2.0 with a twist.
About 2 weeks later, I received an email from OptimizePress Support saying I made a commitment.
I honestly didn’t think anything of it, because this was the time when marketers were sending you out those stupid emails saying you made a commitment in the subject line.
Later on, that night when I got off work, I pulled my Mac out of my bookbag and powered it on.
Once my Mac was on I headed over to OP2 affiliate portal because I wanted to see how many clicks I got.
I clicked on commissions generated and seen that I had made $932.39 with some of the customer opting for the recurring payment of 17 bucks.
My cut of that was about $6.35 per month.
To say I was happy is an understatement. It took me 5 years of struggling and frustration before I trusted myself again enough to figure things out.
Today, I want to teach people how they too can become a successful solo preneur simply starting where they are…
When I made the $932.39 with OP2 all I had enough money for was to pick up the product and that was it.
My total investment was $117.00, no social proof, no email list, no ad budget or social media following…
I was doing this from scratch.
My ongoing bill from this deal was $17.
I hustled to get people in front of that video, and from there, I started having success.
That showed me, working hard isn’t enough you have to make sure your focused and working hard on the right things.
I stopped trying to find the magic button and started putting in the work focusing on the things that moved the needle and built my belief system.
I started focusing on the small wins and stop trying to hit it out the park on my first swing.
I can’t tell you how much pressure this took off me, and once I gave myself permission to fail like I use to do, I called it on the job learning.
Well, I started seeing some success.
Yep, this is my story.
I hope it inspired you to keep pushing forward but also to stop wasting your time and money following people who probably don’t know as much as you.
If you would like to see what I’m up to you can click here…
If you would like to learn a more advanced affiliate marketing course to really learn how to build your online affiliate marketing business fast click here to watch the webinar…
And finally, if you want to know what’s the best affiliate marketing course to get started with as a newbie, or someone who has been struggling for a while click here…
Just remember, I would much rather fail because I tried and got it wrong than to be frozen because of fear and do nothing.
Doing nothing ensures your failure while taking action and failing is showing you what doesn’t work which is progress.
Until Next Time,
~ Digital DIY Geek
“Put In The Work”