I did it too. I drove by big houses and would wonder who lived there. What did they do for a living? How did they make their money? Someday, I would tell myself, I would live in a house like that. Every weekend I would do it.
I read books about successful people. In fact, I read every book or magazine I could get my hands on. I would tell myself 1 good idea would pay for the book and could make the difference between me making it or not.
I worked jobs I didn’t like. I worked jobs I loved, but had no chance of being a career. I worked jobs that barely paid the rent. I had so many jobs my parents wondered if I would be stable. Most of them aren’t on my resume anymore because I was there so short a time or they were so stupid I was embarrassed.
In every job, I would justify it in my mind whether I loved it or hated it that I was getting paid to learn and every experience would be of value when I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up.
If I ever grew up, I hoped to run my own business some day. It’s exactly what I told myself every day. In reality, I had as much doubt as confidence. I was just hoping the confidence would win over the doubt and it would all work out for the best.
I remember being 24 years old, living in Brantford, Ontario in a 3-bedroom subsidized townhouse with my wife and three kids. This wasn’t a really nice place, it was too small and was completely falling apart. My car had the usual rusted out body, a Honda Civic that burned a quart of oil that I couldn’t afford every week.
To make matters worse, because I was living meals from the food-bank and whatever I could get my hand on from my Father’s house. My confidence wasn’t at an all time high. I was having fun. Don’t get me wrong. There was still a lot of great memories from then but…
I was motivated to do something I loved. I just wasn’t sure what it was yet. My job that I was currently working in a food warehouse was not going to give me the life I wanted so I made a list of all the different jobs I would love to do. (I still have it.) The problem was that I wasn’t qualified for any of them. But I needed to increase my income.
Then while driving down past one of the local home stores I saw a sign that they were hiring new salespeople. I took a chance, walked in and got myself a job right there on the spot. Wow, I thought to myself, this is it. I just rocked a salesperson interview and am now going to enjoy the “good life” with my new found income source.
But, as fired up as I was about the job, I was scared. Why? Because I have never worked in a sales position my life. So what do I do? I do what I always do: I studied. I started to read books and listen to audio programs from the world’s best salespeople. One of my favorites was Zig Ziglar, great stuff from that man.
Things started going really well, and I was closing more and more sales. But there was one area that I was still lacking in and my manager could not stand it. You see, we had these store credit cards and if you got the person who was applying to sign up for the insurance, which was an extra 1% expense, then you received a $5 commission. Yippee!
Well most salespeople had a 90% close rate on the insurance because they would never explain it to the customers, they would just say, “sign here and here please”, and most people would. I explained what they were signing, I didn’t want to deceive anybody. Me, I didn’t care about the $5, I cared about the customer. But my manager, he only cared about his paycheck, nothing more, nothing less.
In my probationary period review he told me that I needed to stop explaining the insurance to the customers and just tell them to sign. He said it is their fault if they don’t read it or ask. I told him that I could not ethically do that. I have seen customers come back in upset when they get their bills in the mail and see the extra 1%. These people work hard for their money and I just can’t do it.
So, he let me go. Fired, two weeks before Christmas. It was like someone had just “pulled the plug” on me and my life support was now gone.
I mean, I had always wanted to quit my job… but I wasn’t ready. I was flat broke with a family to feed.
I was struggling big time!
My whole life seemed like it was crashing down around me, I was already in debt even with a job. Now I had nothing. I felt like my my whole self-worth had been destroyed. I felt utterly depressed.
For two straight days, I cried… I locked my self away and just kept crying.
It was during these two days that I came to the realization, this was my chance to give it my all and go full out on my dream of owning my own business.
I could swear my heart was pumping twice as hard during that period of time. Especially when you don’t have the safety net of money in the bank. I just had to face facts and move on. So rather than getting back on that “how the hell am I going to find a job” train, the only right thing to do was to start my own company.
During the previous year I had invested in this ebook called, The Super Affiliate Handbook, I played around with it for a few months but only made a couple of hundred dollars in a 12 month period so I kind of just forgot about it.
But now things were different, I had made the choice that I was going to be a success. I had made the choice that I was going to run my own business and I knew that online would be the best way to start. I had no other choice, I had burned the boats and there was no returning home. So I knocked the digital dust off my ebook and got to work on my business.
I only had $20 to start but I had to succeed, there was no other option. I bought a domain name for $10 and setup for first month of webhosting for the remaining $10. After throwing my last $20 into this new venture, I started to crank out articles for my website as fast as I could. I posted them on my site and submitted them to a site called EzineArticles.
My articles on EzineArticles were an instant hit and went viral across the web. They helped me drive so much traffic to my website that within 30 days of losing my job, I had already replaced my lost income. My one article had over one million hits in just a few short months. It was actually EzineArticles first article to be read one million times, but sadly they have since deleted due to changes in their TOS.
That first year in business was incredible. Every month my business grew. I remember sitting in my little office till 10pm and then still being so pumped up, I would drive over to the gym I belonged to and run 5 to 10 miles on the treadmill, going through that day, and the next in my head. Other days I would get so involved with learning a new piece of software that I would forget to eat and look up at the clock thinking it was 6 or 7pm and see that it was 1am or 2am. Time would fly by.
Today I’m proud to say I’m living a comfortable life with my family. We’ve moved on up, out of the subsidized housing into our own beautiful four bedroom home, in a gorgeous neighborhood. My kids school is right across the street, so I can just watch them leave from my kitchen window as I work on my business from home. We have taken many wonderful trips together in the last couple years and have enjoyed spending countless hours out on the lake in our Sea-Doo Challenger.
(this page is still a work in progress.)