I’m not gonna lie; I started the Self Employed Movement almost 3 years ago with one goal in mind: to make a whole bunch of money so I wouldn’t have to get a real job again.
This all happened the day before I was supposed to start my (basically) unpaid internship selling life insurance.
Talk about bad timing, huh?
I saw bloggers such as Chris Guillebeau, Tim Ferriss, J$, and Mr. Money Mustache make ridiculous amounts of money blogging full-time. So why not me? I’d be over the moon with making a fraction of what they made!
I was going to make money in 2 main ways: affiliate marketing and consulting.
Of course, I had no idea exactly what affiliate marketing was, what it all entailed, and how to actually do it. All I knew is you got paid money for getting people to take actions that other people that paid you wanted those people to do. (Simple, yet confusing, right?)
Consulting was something that I had at least a little experience doing. Through our old business, I met lots of other small business owners that needed some help with their businesses and I figured I had some experience so why not? I had some email exchanges and even Skyped some. I had about 10 clients that “consulted” with me. My “clients” all said the same thing: I had great advice and I really helped so they would pay me if they had money to spare.
But things would be different this time. I was going to be this bad ass blogger and this blog was going to be my resume. I’d have a huge client list and everyone would be asking me to speak at their next convention. Who wouldn’t want to hire me to consult them to small business success and riches?!
I was going to have paying clients this time and they were going to pay well. Very well.
Now why would they do that?
I’m not really sure.
My tagline went something like this “you might not know what you want or where you want to go but we can figure it out together!” (Oh, and you’d pay me because I have slightly more experience than you do.)
Sounds really enticing, right?
A lot of time wasn’t exactly something that I had much of and of course, that was exactly what I needed.
I remember a Tim Ferriss blog where he talked about how his currently most-popular blog posts were posts that he wrote about 2 years ago.
I didn’t have a lot of time but I did have some time in between submitting resumes for jobs that I didn’t really want so I figured I’d go with quantity over quality.
With each passing day and each blog post, I’d be closer and closer to that magical “2 year time period” that Tim was talking about so I might as well go for it full steam ahead!
I’m not sure if it was the rush of blood to my head, the adrenaline, the naivety, the huge chip on my shoulder, or what, but I put my head down and went to work.
That lasted about 2…..maybe 3 weeks.
With my affiliate marketing and consulting business not making any money, (big surprise, right?!) I was desperate and painted myself in the corner.
I swallowed whatever pride I had left and thought I should take my only option which was to return to the bank I ecstatically turned my 2-weeks notice into a few short months before.
The blog and my dreams of making money were briefly put on hold while
I sold my soul to the devil made money like a “real” adult.
Thankfully, I got fired a couple of months later and luckily for me, the door was finally locked shut for me to never make a return visit to the
shady wonderful world of finance….with 5 dead-bolts, 2 security guards, and a restraining order.
Or am I?
I had another chance to finally do what I always wanted to do: make money on my own terms and my own time.
This was going to be my big “F you!” to my old corporate job and co-workers. Yeah, I hated that job but it stung a little to be fired like I was. It was bullshit and I was salty.
How’s that saying go?…”you find something wonderful when you don’t look for it?”
Yeah…something like that.
Well, that happened with my job.
It was just supposed to be a short-term kind of thing while I figured things out. Over a year later and I’m almost the Operations Manager. They just can’t get rid of me.
It’s a fulfilling job and at least they pay me.
No, it’s not millions like what I was supposed to make from affiliate marketing and consulting, but at least it’s more than I’ve actually made from affiliate marketing and consulting in about 3 years. Which is pretty good considering I’ve made less than $20 from that.
Moral of the story: Don’t start blogging in hopes of becoming rich. Actually, don’t start anything just for monetary gain. It probably won’t happen and you’ll probably be miserable if it actually does.
Do it because it’s fun. Do it because you want to try new things and meet new people. Do it because you want to be a positive influence and actually help people.
That’s what blogging is all about: being helpful to as many people as possible.
Have that goal in mind and the rest will follow.
Use the success of others as inspiration to start blogging but don’t compare their success with yours. Everyone follows a different path in life and this will be reflected in their blogs.
We all deal with different things and come from different circumstances but we can all learn from one another.
Overnight success most certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient, be consistent, and be helpful and you’ll be successfully eventually.
And the best part of it?
You get to decide what success looks like to you.
And I’m pretty successful if I get to do something for money that I enjoy and get to write this blog and try out cool side hustles in my spare time.
What does success look like to you?
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I sell old books using BookScouter. I sell stuff on Etsy and eBay. I use Shopify to run my online business. I make some money by taking pictures of my grocery receipts with Ibotta. I’m Marc the Shark , this is the Self Employed Movement, and yes, those are affiliate links.