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27

Income Report for October and November, 2015 – My BEST month ever…and my income journey

Every month I publish an income report…why? Good question :-)

1. Accountability

With all the shiny objects out there it’s easy to spend WAY more than you’re earning. Luckily I realized this early on and I’ve kept detailed records of my expenses ever since. That being said, I know that there are certain expenses that are NECESSARY when running a business. As much as I don’t want to pay for them, I need to pay for my email autoresponder, website hosting, and video hosting every month. It’s just a part of doing business. There are other things that I buy as well, but I try my best to keep my expenses SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than my revenue. If I can do that then I’m ahead of the game.

2. Integrity

On my show I ask my guests a lot of personal questions. One that frequently comes up is “How much do you make?”. I feel like I need to reveal my own income if I’m going to be asking others the same question. It only seems right.

3. Perspective

There are a lot of online marketers out there who fake-it-till-they-make-it. In other words, they fudge their numbers and exaggerate their earnings in order to establish false authority in their niche. My goal is that by watching my income grow slowly over time you’ll realize that there is no get-rich-quick button.

Here’s my results for October, 2015.

———————————————————————–

44,212 website page views (+15,317 from September)

44,269 Youtube channel views (+12,404 from September)

261,786 Youtube minutes watched (+69,989 from September)

Aweber email subscribers: 17,638 (+973 subscribers from September)

Expenses

Affiliate Prizes for Profit Canvas launch: $4,216 – I was responsible for paying out 33% of the prize money from my launch with Brett Rutecky and Josh Katherman.

Sales copy for Profit Canvas: $1,000 – My portion of the cost of getting Laura Catella to rewrite my rough sales copy. You can check here out at her website HERE.

Create Awesome Webinars (CLOSED): $997 – A course by David Siteman Garland about how he’s been able to do more than $2,000,000 with webinars (investing in my own education)

GoToWebinar: $199 – I use this for live webinars and training

Aweber: $149 – This is my list building software that allows me to email everyone when there’s a new interview or review

oDesk Virtual Assistants: $86.92 – I have some workers helping me with daily tasks that don’t need me. I’m trying to outsource more and more daily.

GetResponse: $65 – This is the autoresponder I use for my buyer’s list

Traffic Planet Hosting: $50 – The hosting account that I recently switched to. It’s super fast and I’m very happy with it.

Improvely: $29 – This is a tool that I’m using to track the lifetime value of leads

Wistia: $25 – This is how I host my sales videos and course content.

Resell Rights Weekly: $19.95 – Reoccurring membership fee for the bonuses I add from my interviews and reviews

Schedule Once: $19 – A tool I use for scheduling coaching calls

Click Magick: $17 – This is one of my FAVORITE tools for tracking links.

WuFoo: $14.95 – A tool that allows me to take applications for my coaching program

Clear App: $10.54 – An app for creating ToDo lists on Mac

Skype: $9.99 for premium – I do all my interviews with Skype and Ecamm call recorder on a Mac.

Vault Press: $5 – A quick and easy tool that I use to backup my website

Amazon S3: $1.57 – I use this to host images and videos

Total expenses: $6,914.92 (+$4,739.58 spent compared to September)

Revenue

Profit Canvas (CLOSED): $4,821.84 from interview with Brett Rutecky

Social Traffic Alchemy (CLOSED): $2,711.16 from review and interview with Adam Payne

Instant eCom Profits (CLOSED): $1,590.14 from review and interview with Mike Dolev

Free Traffic Sniper (CLOSED): $1,497.76 from review and interview with Fergal Downes

Social Kickstart: $1,477 from customers being cookied from buying previous products

Video Bookmarker: $1,423.98 from review and interview with Peter Beattie

Fresh Title: $1,292.86 from review and demo video from Dave Guindon

All App Press (CLOSED): $1,203.16 from review and interview with Cindy Battye

Visibily: $1,196.90 from review and interview with Neil Napier

Video Traffic X (CLOSED): $1,141 from review and interview with Walt Bayliss

eCom Empire: $1,128.50 from review and interview with Mehdi Tihani

The Rich Jerk: $1,028 from review and interview with Kelly Felix

Targeted Traffic Cash Surge: $1,015.52 from review and interview with Stefan Ciancio

Vid Create: $927.80 from review and interview with Sam Robinson

Vid Engage: $710.82 from review and interview with Ankur Shukla

Mega PLR Package (CLOSED): $689.38 from review and interview with Rob Stafford

Repwarn reseller (CLOSED): $603 from review and interview with Walt Bayliss

Youtube Ad Vantage: $567 from review and interview with Robert Phillips

Adsvisor: $501 from review

Vlydo: $369.38 from review and interview with Sam Bakker

Voo Player: $254.50 from review and interview with Peter Beattie

Viddyoze: $253 from review and interview with Jamie Garside

Maps Attack Pack: $202.50 from review and interview with Chris Beatty

Thrive Leads: $171 from review and interview with Shane Melaugh

Profit Sorcery: $149.82 from review and interview with Ed Brooks

Pixel Studio FX: $144.50 from interview with Ali Chowdhry

The Fiverr Alliance: $135.13 from review and interview with Fergal Downes

Voice Stak: $132.50 from review and interview with Mark Thompson

Easy VSL: $119 from review and interview with Mark Thompson

Webinar Income System: $106.98 from review and interview with Joel Peterson

The Black Box Sales Machine: $106.19 from review and interview with Alex Jeffreys

Video Rankr: $106.18 from review and interview with Joshua Zamora

Video Maker FX: $99.70 from review and interview with Peter Roszak

Online Wealth Academy: $81 from reviewinterview, and webinar with Mikael Dia

Simple CPA Siphon: $70.18 from review and interview with Stephen Gilbert

Cloud Prospect Machine: $60.50 from review and interview with Steve Benn

Viral Video Stores: $52.50 from review and interview with Neil Napier

Viral Content Profits: $48.50 from review and interview with Ricky Mataka

Video Traffic System: $48.23 from review and interview with Brad Scott

Video Ads Crash Course 2.0: $42 from review and interview with Justin Sardi

InstaHook Video Backgrounds: $40.80 from review and interview with Brad Scott

Keyword Suggestion: $39.54 from emails

UpViral: $34.99 from review and interview with Wilco de Kreij

Explaindio: $34 from review and interview with Nick LaPolla

Click Multiplier: $33.50 from review and interview with Chris Blair

WP Central Hub: $29.70 from review and interview with Ankur Shukla

Local Reputation Hero: $28.80 from review and interview with Matthew Ianotti

Fresh Store Builder (CLOSED): $28.50 from review and interview with Carey Baird

Zapable: $27.30 from review and interview with Chris Fox

Kindle Marketing Magic: $26.91 from review and interview with Mike Balmaceda

Webinar Hero: $25.50 from review and preview video

CPA List Loophole: $24.60 from review and interview with Greg Konenenko

Super CPA Profits: $24.47 from review and interview with Dan Dasilva

Elite Video Evolution 2.0: $24.02 from review and interview with Ryan Phillips

Kindle Money Mastery: $21.24 from review and interview with Stefan Pylarinos

Product Launch Profits: $20.72 from review and interview with Fergal Downes

Instant Email Swipe File: $18.52 from review and interview with Matt Bacak

Fresh Member: $18.50 from review and interview with Mark Thompson

Article Buddy 3.0: $18.50 from review and interview with Radu Hahaianu

Vidneos: $18.50 from review and interview with Ben Murray

Weird Niche Content: $17.98 from review and interview with Mark Bishop

Operation Solo: $17.97 from interview with Anthony Tilley

The Lazy Affiliate 2.0: $15.81 from review and interview with Mark Bishop

Absolute Jacker: $13.50 from review and interview with Ariel Sanders

Buzz Ignition: $13.50 from review and interview with Neil Napier

Love Claw: $12.12 from interview with Chris Munch

Spy Perfection: $10.63 from review and interview with Sam Bakker

Funnel Vision (CLOSED): $9.98 from review and interview with Dr. Ben Adkins

HydraVid: $9.98 from review and interview with Walt Bayliss

Ad Hero: $8.50 from review and interview with Neil Napier

Video Contest: $8.50 from demo with Neil Napier

Snap Affiliate Profits: $8.12 from review and interview with Stephen Gilbert

Mobile Stream Revolution: $6.65 from review and interview with James Renouf

Easiest 5rr Cash Ever : $6.05 from review and interview with Bamdad Sky

Creative Post: $4.99 from review and interview with Guillermo Mata

 

Total revenue from interviews and reviews: $28,983 (+$3,693.78 from September)

 

Profit Canvas JV commission: $34,417.24 – This is my cut from a launch I did with Brett Rutecky

Affiliate Income Secrets: $1,163.08 – My product teaching how I make money from affiliate marketing

Keyword Suggestions JV commission: $683.85 – This is my cut from a launch I did with Radu in September

Social Robot JV commission: $223.34 – This my cut from a launch I did with Joshua Zamora a few months ago

Moon Pixlar: $98.50 – A random commission

Resell Rights Weekly: $97.79 – This is a website that has a ton of products that you can use as your own

Click Magick: $16.45 – This is one of my FAVORITE tools for tracking links.

Aweber : $5.70 – This is the email autoresponder that I personally use for my email list of almost 20,000 subscribers. My email list is my MOST valuable asset, and a common thing I hear on my show is “I wish I had started building my list earlier”. Sign up now for just $1.​

 

Total from OTHER streams of income: $36,705.95 (+$27,842.95 from September)

Total Revenue: $65,688.95 (+$31,536.73 from September)

Total Profit: $58,774.03 (+$26,797.15 from September)

 

Here’s my results for November, 2015.

———————————————————————–

32,624 website page views (+11,588 from October)

34,564 Youtube channel views (-9,705 from October)

198,430 Youtube minutes watched (-63,356 from October)

Aweber email subscribers: 19,319 (+1,681 subscribers from October)

Expenses

Affiliate Prizes for SociSpot launch: $1,760 – I was responsible for paying out 20% of the prize money from my launch with Lee Pennington.

iPhone 6s Plus (with case): $1,424.61 – My old iPhone 4s wasn’t charging anymore, so I got a new iPhone, but the prices are higher here in Turkey.

Aweber: $398.80 – This is my list building software that allows me to email everyone when there’s a new interview or review

oDesk Virtual Assistants: $365.91 – I have some workers helping me with daily tasks that don’t need me. I’m trying to outsource more and more daily.

GoToWebinar: $199 – I use this for live webinars and training

Internet: $50

Traffic Planet Hosting: $50 – The hosting account that I recently switched to. It’s super fast and I’m very happy with it.

AWProTools: $29.99 – I tried this out, but then cancelled

Improvely: $29 – This is a tool that I’m using to track the lifetime value of leads

Wistia: $25 – This is how I host my sales videos and course content.

Resell Rights Weekly: $19.95 – Reoccurring membership fee for the bonuses I add from my interviews and reviews

Schedule Once: $19 – A tool I use for scheduling coaching calls

Click Magick: $17 – This is one of my FAVORITE tools for tracking links.

GetResponse: $15 – This is the autoresponder I use for my buyer’s list

WuFoo: $14.95 – A tool that allows me to take applications for my coaching program

Skype: $9.99 for premium – I do all my interviews with Skype and Ecamm call recorder on a Mac.

Amazon S3: $7.43 – I use this to host images and videos

Vault Press: $5 – A quick and easy tool that I use to backup my website

Total expenses: $4,440.63  (-$2,474.29 spent compared to October)

Revenue

Genius Marketing Pro: $8,913.50 from review and interview with Dwayne Golden

SociSpot: $3,555.59 from interview with Lee Pennington

Easy VSL 2.0: $3,223 from review and interview with Mark Thompson

Fresh Title: $3,066 from review and demo video from Dave Guindon

Video Ads Formula: $2,852.50 from review and interview with Mario Brown

Video Bookmarker: $1,830.63 from review and interview with Peter Beattie

Scale Social: $1,675.20 from review and interview with Joshua Zamora

WP Optin Boxes: $1,483.97 from review and interview with Ankur Shukla

WP Tweet Machine: $766.61 from review and interview with Dan Green

Social Pop: $600.98 from demo video from Sam Bakker

Repwarn reseller (CLOSED): $502.50 from review and interview with Walt Bayliss

Social Robot: $249.37 from review and preview video

Social Kickstart: $239.50 from customers being cookied from buying previous products

Thrive Leads: $182.25 from review and interview with Shane Melaugh

Maps Attack Pack: $175.50 from review and interview with Chris Beatty

eCom Empire: $153.35 from review and interview with Mehdi Tihani

Video Traffic X (CLOSED): $151.50 from review and interview with Walt Bayliss

Video Vibe Pro: $127.41 from review and interview with Joshua Zamora

Zapable: $125.30 from review and interview with Chris Fox

Email Click Magnet 2.0: $120.48 from review

Social Traffic Alchemy (CLOSED): $119 from review and interview with Adam Payne

Profit Canvas (CLOSED): $97.68 from interview with Brett Rutecky

Visibily: $91 from review and interview with Neil Napier

Voo Player: $90.50 from review and interview with Peter Beattie

Webinar Hero: $86.94 from review and preview video

Fresh Member: $85.50 from review and interview with Mark Thompson

Profit Sorcery: $81.82 from review and interview with Ed Brooks

The Rich Jerk:$68.50 from review and interview with Kelly Felix

The Fiverr Alliance: $67.30 from review and interview with Fergal Downes

Solo Ad Arbitrage 2.0: $61.21 from review and interview with Andrea Fulton

Cloud Prospect Machine: $60.50 from review and interview with Steve Benn

AK Booster Pro: $58.20 from review and interview with Ben Murray

Online Wealth Academy: $54 from reviewinterview, and webinar with Mikael Dia

Video Maker FX: $51 from review and interview with Peter Roszak

How To Get Free Traffic From Affiliates and JVs: $42.61 from review and interview with Reed Floren

InstaHook Video Backgrounds: $40.80 from review and interview with Brad Scott

Targeting Inspector 2.0: $38.50 from review and interview with Aravindh Sridhar

Viddyoze: $37 from review and interview with Jamie Garside

Targeted Traffic Cash Surge: $36.29 from review and interview with Stefan Ciancio

The Death of Solo Ads: $34.99 from review and interview with David Eisner

UpViral: $34.35 from review and interview with Wilco de Kreij

Viral Video Stores: $34 from review and interview with Neil Napier

Explaindio: $34 from review and interview with Nick LaPolla

Voice Stak: $34 from review and interview with Mark Thompson

Video Motion Pro (CLOSED): $33.50 from review and interview with Josh Ratta

Operation Solo: $32.36 from interview with Anthony Tilley

Super CPA Profits: $30.74 from review and interview with Dan Dasilva

The Black Box Sales Machine: $28.63 from review and interview with Alex Jeffreys

Youtube Ad Vantage:$27 from review and interview with Robert Phillips

Kindle Marketing Magic: $26.96 from review and interview with Mike Balmaceda

FB Ad Class 1.0: $25.21 from review and interview with Ivana Bosnjak

Video Ads Crash Course 2.0: $23.50 from review and interview with Justin Sardi

Pixel Studio FX: $23.50 from interview with Ali Chowdhry

Kindle Money Mastery: $21.24 from review and interview with Stefan Pylarinos

Local Reputation Hero: $18.80 from review and interview with Matthew Ianotti

Instant Email Swipe File: $18.54 from review and interview with Matt Bacak

Article Buddy 3.0: $18.50 from review and interview with Radu Hahaianu

Covert Shirt Store: $18.50 from review and interview with Cindy Battye

Arbitrage Underdog RELOADED: $18.01 from review and interview with Tom E

Solo Ad Escape: $16.40 from review and interview with Kevin Fahey

Steal My Business: $14.97 from review and interview with Ankur Shukla

Absolute Jacker: $13.50 from review and interview with Ariel Sanders

Funnel Vision (CLOSED): $9.98 from review and interview with Dr. Ben Adkins

HydraVid: $9.98 from review and interview with Walt Bayliss

3K Challenge: $9.21 from interview with Emka

Weird Niche Content: $8.99 from review and interview with Mark Bishop

Ad Hero: $8.50 from review and interview with Neil Napier

Video Contest: $8.50 from demo with Neil Napier

Solo Ad Professor: $7.17 from review and interview with Paul Nicholls

Easy Profits Explosion: $6.74 from review and interview with Stefan Ciancio

5rr Cash Machine: $6.56 from review and interview with Idrees

Fiverr Untapped: $6.05 from review and interview with John Shea

 

Total revenue from interviews and reviews: $31,926.37  (+$2,943.37 from October)

SociSpot JV commission: $9,100.48 – This is my cut from a launch I did with Lee Pennington in November

Social Robot JV commission: $3,857.58 – This my cut from a launch I did with Joshua Zamora in early 2015

Affiliate Income Secrets: $1,302.80 – My product teaching how I make money from affiliate marketing

Profit Canvas JV commission: $405.28 – This is my cut from a launch I did with Brett Rutecky in October

Keyword Suggestions JV commission: $367.68 – This is my cut from a launch I did with Radu in September

Resell Rights Weekly: $71.25 – This is a website that has a ton of products that you can use as your own

Cover Genie Pro: $18.50 – A customer asked for an affiliate link

Click Magick: $16.45 – This is one of my FAVORITE tools for tracking links.

 

Total from OTHER streams of income: $15,140.02 (-$21,565.93 from October)

Total Revenue: $47,066.39 (-$18,622.56 from October)

Total Profit: $42,625.76 (-$16,148.27 from October)

In this income report I want to talk about my definition of Internet Marketing “success” and a bit of an updated “About me”.

I was browsing my Facebook newsfeed today (which I do too often) and I saw the usual posts with pictures of fancy cars and big houses. I know that for a lot of people these kinds of things mean that they’ve “made” it. They are signals to those around them that they have money, that they’ve proven naysayers wrong; that they’ve put in the work and come out the other side “rich” beyond their wildest dreams.

Ok, I get it. But before I explain what my idea of success is, I think it’s important for you to understand my background when it comes to money:

1980-1999 : Growing Up

I don’t come from a super rich family, but we had a healthy middle-class lifestyle in the late 80’s and 90’s. Growing up we always had nice things. We had a beta VCR when they first came out. We also had one of those big clunky video camcorders for recording Christmas mornings, Easter Sundays, and the occassional outing on our sailboat off the coast of Maine.

I remember later on my dad bought a CD player and blasted “Milli Vanili” throughout the house. I also remember him coming in the driveway with a Saab convertible, and a couple years later with a Range Rover, and then another Saab convertible years later.

These luxuries were all around me.

oldsmobile

This is the kind of car I drove…a 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra

But I was never spoiled…at least I don’t like to think I was. In high school, I drove a 10-year old (at the time) purple Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra. My dad picked it up for $3,000 from an old lady who only drove it to the grocery store and to church. I remember feeling a little bit embarassed riding around in it, but I was more excited that I had the freedom to drive around in my own car. I think I was MORE embarrassed driving in the Range Rover, as I remember an English teacher of mine who would poke fun at me and say things like “oh, here comes Mike Thomas in his Raaaaaaaaaange Rover”. There weren’t any knives behind his remarks, but looking back I undertand a bit more about class divisions and that with his salary that kind of a car just wasn’t possible.

I also wasn’t one of those kids who had a lot of cash to spend in high school. As soon as I was old enough my dad told me to “get a job”. I applied at the local Burger King and started happily making minimum wage as a cashier for a few hours after school every week. I think that everyone should at one time in their lives work in the service industry as it gives you a true understanding of what it’s like dealing with all types of people and getting paid very little for it. But it was fantastic having my own money. I spent most of it on little things like pizza and after-school snacks, but it was liberating having my own income for the first time.

walden

One of the books that formed my ideas for “simplifying” my life

One thing that stands out from my youth is how I distinctly remember loathing the idea of trading hours for dollars. In a one-to-one literature class with one of my favorite teachers, I can still see myself explaining how I couldn’t fathom giving up my time working at some pointless job. We were reading Henry David Thoreu’s “Walden” at the time, among other American authors including Emerson, Twain, and Whitman, and the whole idea of self reliance and rugged individualism really stood out to me. Also the concept of simplifying one’s life seems to have stayed with me throughout the 17 years that have passed since high school.

1999-2003 : Money In College

I also wasn’t a “rich kid” in college. I had a part-time job from my sophomore year until graduation working in a call center raising money for the university, and as a waiter in an Outback Steakhouse. Unlike high school, I wasn’t working for extra money, but instead to finance my college education. If I didn’t work, I’d have to call up my dad and ask him for money, which is something that I think most young men despise. There’s a feeling of immasculation and ultimately defeat that comes from asking one’s father for money.

2003-2004 : Money AFTER college

18072_391424310541_2722161_n

Walking “El Camino de Santiago” in Spain

When college was over, I still had no idea how I was going to make a living. I taught English in Prague for a year making just enough money to pay my bills, go out on the weekends, and even go to the movies occasionally, but not enough to save. After 8 months of teaching I had enough money to buy a plane ticket to Paris on my way to do a pilgrimage called “El Camino de Santiago”, which is a 550 mile, 30-day walk across Spain. On the first day, I arrived in Paris with about $500 in my pocket to last me for the next 30-days. I was on a TIGHT budget.

One thing that really sticks out for me is that I was 23-years-old and I had a day to spend in Paris. I decided to walk around the city, as I didn’t have money for public transportation. It was the beginning of July, and it was the first sun that I had gotten in months. As I walked around the city I contemplated buying a bottle of water, but it was about $2 or $3 at the time for a bottle, and I just couldn’t afford it. Eventually I started feeling dizzy and sat down on a park bench. My face was bright red from the sun, and when I went to a pharmacy to get sunscreen I almost didn’t buy that either as it was $30 for a bottle. $30 frickin’ dollars!

My trip had begun. For the next 30 days I was able to stretch the $500 and live quite well while walking about 20 to 30 miles every day. I stayed in little hostels set up along an organized route that we either FREE for people doing the pilgrimage or at most $5 to $7 per night. Even on my tight budget I was able to afford bread, Spanish ham, chocolate, and even wine. It was one of the most wonderful times in my life.

One day near the end of the pilgrimage I was finishing up my day by swimming in the cool refreshing waters of a river near my hostel. Scattered throughout the water were about 20-50 other pilgrims up and downstream. As I swam around I noticed something floating by me…something papery. It was 20 euro! I don’t remember the exchange rate exactly, but lets just say it was like finding $20 floating by…and I needed it! I’m not a religious man (I did the pilgrimage for sport and adventure) but if I was I would say that Someone was giving me a hand :-)

2004 : Entering the REAL world

I returned to Maine after teaching English and walking across Spain in August, 2004. When I got back I discovered that my brother was making six figures selling magazines as an affiliate online. He was simply buying traffic on Yahoo and Google Adwords and sending it directly to an affiliate offer (this doesn’t work anymore). He had figured out a truly passive way of making money online and it both fascinated me AND proved that it was really possible to make money online. I wanted in. And my brother pointed me in the right direction.

rich

One of the biggest influences on how I think about money

I started learning website design from a book called HTML for Dummies. I also read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, which made me rethink my stance on education, and probably stopped me from ever “wasting” money on a graduate degree. I had just begun my journey, and I needed to make money to live…so I did the smartest thing and got a JOB.

2004-2005 : Working a 9 to 5

At the end of 2004 I started my first traditional job where I’d be earning a steady paycheck and be working for someone else. I started off at almost $40k per year as a marketing assistant at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. For the first time in my life I felt “rich” as I was making enough money to live in a modest shared apartment in the Georgetown neighborhood. Our place was a bit shabby, but I was in the center of all the nightlife AND I could walk to work, thus I didn’t need to have a car, thus saving me a TON of money in car payments, insurance, and repairs.

2005-2006 : I Start Making money online

free ipod

One of the first ways I made money online

In my spare time I started working on my first website. At the time there was a popular offer online where you could get a free iPod (worth around $500) if you could get 5 friends to sign up for a free trial offer. I actually got friends to do this a few times and won a few iPods, but I noticed that sometimes people wouldn’t know which companies to trust when trying to get a free iPod. I decided to create a website called FreeTrialOfferGuide.com (longest website title ever) to write little reviews of the opportunities and explain to people how they worked. I don’t have the exact numbers, as this was back in 2005, but I was able to get my little website to start making $5 to $10 fairly quickly through affiliate offers and Google Adsense.

google fridgeFrom there, I got into buying traffic for pennies and sending it to Cost-Per-Action offers that would pay $1.60 every time someone put in an email or zip code. I also started buying traffic for a penny and sending it to a page that paid $.02. Google ended up sending me a free mini-fridge for buying over a million clicks :-)

I started making real money from this (about $300 per day), and by the middle of 2006 I quit my job at Georgetown University. I figured that I could make more money focusing on my business full time then by going to work and “wasting” my time at a job.

2006-2007 : Financial life booming, personal life collapsing

In the pursuit of financial success I put everything else on the back burner. My relationship with my girlfriend at the time collapsed, I was bored socially, and I was about 35 pounds overweight from weight I’d gained since returning from teaching in Europe, as you can see in this video from the end of 2007:

I was unhappy. Even though I was making about $100,000/yr the whole saying about how money can’t buy you happiness proved to be true. So what did I do? I packed up all my possessions and decided to take a trip around the world for a year.

2008-2009 : Traveling the world…the end of my income…and living off savings

1934153_26065010541_562_nI have to say that one of the BEST decisions that I’ve ever made in my entire life was to travel. In January 2008 I left for India…and traveling with dollars in India means that you can buy pretty much whatever you want. I didn’t really worry about money as I had about $100k in the bank, and I was still making $100 to $300 per day from my business on autopilot. It was truly passive income and only required that I check my advertising accounts once every few days to make sure everything was running correctly.

After traveling in India for 3-months I ended up “settling” down in Turkey and “working” as a bartender at an alternative treehouse hotel in return for room and board. I stayed there for the summer, and it was during this time that my business started to die. I don’t remember the dates exactly, but Google and Yahoo started changing their policies for advertising to affiliate offers. Some ads started getting rejected and eventually my business went to $100/day, to $50/day, to nothing by the end of 2008.

The funny thing is that I was fine with it. I had around $100,000 in the bank, I was spending very little money as my food and lodging were paid for, I had lost the 35 pounds that I’d gained from building my business back in the States, and I was having the time of my life. While most of my friends were back home working 9-5 jobs, I was spending my days at the beach, and bartending and partying by night. It was a GREAT way to end my twenties.

2010-2011 – Starting over

Instead of continuing in my around-the-world trip I stayed in Turkey. By 2010 I was living in Istanbul sharing an apartment with friends, and paying about $400/month in rent to stay in the center of the city. I still had $80k left in my bank account, but I was getting a bit worried that those funds would come to an end.

It had been almost 2 years since I’d left my first online business behind, and I was utterly lost when it came to what was working online. I know that you have to spend money to make money, so in 2010 I spent approximately $15k on Internet marketing software and courses. I also spent about $10k on living, so my savings were down to $55,000 by the end of the year.

At the same time I took a part-time job teaching conversational English to business people. I did this to bring in some extra money, but I absolutely DESPISED teaching English. I was doing something that I absolutely hate doing, and that’s trading hours for dollars. I don’t want to say that I’m above teaching English, as it’s a noble profession, but I think that I just felt that I was meant to do something bigger.

2011-2013 : The rise and fall of Adsense niche sites…and I meet my wife..

At the end of 2011 I met my future wife. I also started making about $300/month creating Adsense niche websites. My goal at the time was to make $100 per day, or $3,000 per month, which is enough money to survive living in Istanbul. It wasn’t a lofty goal, but it seemed to be something reachable.

While I was building my Adsense niche site business I had about $44,000 left in my bank account. The funny thing is that with that amount of money I felt “rich”. I remember one time talking with my future wife (her name is “Tugba”, which is pronounced “Tuuba”) about how much money I had in the bank. I was like “Don’t worry, I have money”. I seriously felt that $44k was a lot of money, and of course it is, but now looking back I have a different perspective as I sometimes make that much in a month, and for  some reason it doesn’t seem like that much anymore.

Throughout 2012 I built up my Adsense niche site business to a point where in July I made a total profit of over $13,000. That’s over four times my goal of $100/day. I was also able to quit teaching English. In that same month, I decided to invest $495 back into my business to purchase a course on doing interviews. I’m a self-confessed cheapskate when it comes to investing into my own business (it’s something that I’m still trying to get better at), but when I do it I go all in. And it’s a good thing that I bought that course, as it influenced me to start “The Mike From Maine Show” in September, 2012. Unfortunately, at the same time Google made a big change in how they ranked websites, and I lost over 80% of my Adsense income.

However, I had already started building up my income again through promoting products as an affiliate.

2013 : Getting married…and my $44k quickly gets drained

988807_10152828266745542_302093941_nIn May of 2013 I got married. Any of you out there who have gotten married know that it’s one of the most expensive (and of course amazing 😉  ) times in one’s life. I went from $44k in the bank down to $12k, and I was beginning to get a little bit worried. Sure, I was making about $1,700/month, but that was a little more than HALF of my goal of $100/day. It was enough to survive, but not enough to LIVE.

By the end of 2013 I was down to $9k. I was spending money faster than I was making it…and getting worried. My biggest fear was that I’d have to go back to teaching English again. My wife even suggested that I take on a part time job teaching again, but I told her that I was on the brink of something big, and I didn’t want to dilute my time into an endeavor like teaching English that would only pay one time for my work.

2014-2015 : It all CLICKS

By the beginning of 2014 I finally hit the tipping point where it all came together. In January my income more than DOUBLED, and by March I had my first five figure month in almost two years. From that point forward my income has continued to increase, to a record month of $58,000 in October, 2015.

Ok, let’s take a step back and take a look

Why did I tell you this?

Here’s the big take away.

Way back in 2006 when I had my first success and was making six figures, I didn’t go out and buy a flashy car, or a big screen TV, or a lot of useless stuff. I didn’t worry about showing the world that I was successful. Instead, I took that money and put it in the bank. I invested it in the stock market, put in it savings, and just made sure that I had access to cash if I needed it. Instead of buying a house that I could barely afford, I rented. Instead of driving an expensive car, I took the bus. It’s because of SAVING that I had enough money to rebuild my business again when the income streams stopped.

hyundai tucson

My 2005 Hyundai Tucson :-)

Also, in 2015 when I started making “real” money again I didn’t go out and buy fancy cars or expensive electronics. Instead my wife and I bought a modest apartment in a regular neighborhood. Did we buy a car? Sure, but a 2005 Hyundai Tucson…in other words, not something flashy.

Is there anything wrong with buying nice things?

No.

But for me there’s something special about having money and not showing off. It’s like the more you have to show it to others, the less money you actually have.

And it’s not the money that’s important. It’s the FREEDOM that it gives you. It’s the security of knowing that if shit hits the fan and your income stream ends that you’ll never have to worry about working again.

For me that’s a HUGE part of this. I never want to have to wake up in the morning and go to a job that I hate again. I’d rather live a modest life and do what I love, than go to a passionless job and build someone else’s business.

2015- : What does the future bring?

I’m currently just plugging away at my business and trying to learn more with each and every day. With the money I earn my first priority is to invest in things that will bring in PASSIVE income that will secure my family’s future.

I was speaking with a friend about this yesterday, and my passive income goal is $3,000/month hands free, whether it’s from real estate, dividends, interest…it doesn’t really matter. This would be income that would come in even if I sat on my butt, went on vacation…or even if I died (let’s hope that doesn’t happen for a while). In order to create $3,000/month in passive income I either need to create a business that creates that income OR I need to save and leverage assets.

I’m truly excited to see what the future brings, and I’m looking forward to continuing to share my journey with you and share what works…and what doesn’t. I hope that by sharing my journey it helps you achieve your goals and dreams.

 

 

  • January 10, 2016
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