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GOLD! 21 Years Old , $7K + Cashflow Business - How I kicked my a$$ into gear after years of action faking

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MJ DeMarco

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Tagged GOLD, terrific story loaded with little nuggets of process, turbulence, failure, and adjustment.
 

DougRMR

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Apr 19, 2019
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SO DO BUSINESS WITH AMERICANS!!

With the internet, nothing is stopping you.

All of my clients are US based, and pay 3X more than what I would get working with local brands, FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK?!

Why would you not want to get paid 3X for the same time and effort?
Man, this kind of hit me in a different way. I live in Puerto Rico and for the past month have been working on a website for my digital agency. I decided to take the niche approach and made it Spanish so that my people here could benefit from my services. But now this got me thinking...

Should I work to translate it all to English? It never solidified in my mind, but yes, it makes sense to focus on the U.S. which has a much more open mind to digital marketing and web design AND its economy is much better (yes, even with the COVID quarantine). Now I don't know what the hell to do. Any advice you might have, I'll appreciate it.
 

OneLife

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"You don't have a business problem, you have a personal problem which is being reflected in your business"
Awesome stuff bro.
btw, Iman Gadzhi, right?:rofl:
(still reading all the comments, this really is gold. Had to comment on this one though haha)
 

ygtrhos

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Thanks for your contibution. Nice read. I am from Turkey, living in Germany and I can totally follow you. I did not grow up in a small town but I can understand your point of view and at a similar point like you.

My only critique to you would be that you sound still a bit pompous. Although I have done things, that were embarrassing in my past, I do not see my past self as embarassing or worth of shame. I do not despise my past selves. They were they and they got the results they got. I see those things as steps that brought me to today.

I am not a superstar or something. I am not super proud of my current self. But I am a self-sustaining individual, who survived in a new country and that is enough for me to be proud of.
 

Ot_adams

New Contributor
Mar 18, 2019
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@Xolorr thank you so much for this thread. I got the notification on my mail last night and I am happy I came across this thread. I have been looking for ways to find foreign clients to create explainer videos with me and I am yet to start because I felt I did not have enough information necessary to start off. I am from Nigeria, and I understand the bottlenecks experienced by third-world nations. Thank you once again, and I will be following this thread closely.
 

Everyman

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At risk of sounding like a twat
I don't think you sound like it - you sound genuine.

My biggest worry is that young people who are actually doing something with their lives is pretty rare
If I may suggest - you are right. The thing is, I think you might be limiting yourself here a bit. You can always hang out with younger people or older. The number of people 'doing something', as you named it, is more or less stable across all groups (I don't want to generalise but also going into details is not the point...)... Age or date in our ID doesn't say anything. It is just a date...

Anyway great progress, great read and I wish you all the best!
 

OneLife

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New client signed & paid :)

$1500 + 10% return.

Excited to get them up and running at the end of this week.

Their previous agency was delivering a 1.7 ROAS which is barely break-even for them.

We're starting with 3k in ad spend, so I'm aiming for a min 3-4x ROAS which would blow their old results out the water & give us a good foundation in the first month.

Dealing with the mental BS and getting back up to speed on work!

Goal is to bring on 2 clients next month & Get pushed over that $10k mark.

Total billables for July was $9100, so I can taste it.

Great stuff man! I'm considering starting something similar myself and was wondering, how are you so confident in your ability to deliver results (3-4x ROAS) to clients, when media buying is really just a small part of facebook ads' success equation (There's all the stuff you can't control as an agency - the offer, the market, the product, etc..)

Would love to hear your thoughts on this, since this is what I'm currently contemplating
 
OP
OP
Xolorr

Xolorr

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Tagged GOLD, terrific story loaded with little nuggets of process, turbulence, failure, and adjustment.
WOW.

I feel honoured to be tagged gold.

I honestly don't think my life would be on this trajectory if I didn't pick up TMF when I did, thank you MJ!

I've learnt so much from this forum and every gold thread I've read, and it's crazy to see it next to my thread.
 
OP
OP
Xolorr

Xolorr

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Great stuff man! I'm considering starting something similar myself and was wondering, how are you so confident in your ability to deliver results (3-4x ROAS) to clients, when media buying is really just a small part of facebook ads' success equation (There's all the stuff you can't control as an agency - the offer, the market, the product, etc..)

Would love to hear your thoughts on this, since this is what I'm currently contemplating
I vet my clients pretty thoroughly.

You're correct that there's a lot I don't have control over, but that doesn't mean I can't influence it.

I try to help my clients in every way I can to lead to mutual success.

Plus with this particular client their ad account was in shambles, while they have a good product, site & conversion rate, so I'm pretty confident there.

I can't take a terrible site and hit 3-4x, but I can take a good site & offer and be the little boost that the client needs to get there through media buying, copy + creative.

I'd say majority of Facebook ads comes down to copy + creative, both of which we control.
 
OP
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Xolorr

Xolorr

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@Xolorr take what i'll write as directly as you can*:
Organize exact thing you do right now into software.

If you want opinion, $30K/m is selling yourself short.
Save up money, find devs, rake millions.

That all i can say.


*People tend to look for double meanings, something in between lines and metaphors ,
if you don't get that sentence on top of this post, re-read it slowly few times.
Good luck.
Kid, I can't thank you enough.

Even though this comment has left me with a couple of sleepless nights, it's also led to a notebook full of ideas and my curiosity sparked.

I've learnt to not comment/elaborate until I've actually taken action against it, but this definitely didn't go unnoticed.
 

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OneLife

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Nov 8, 2019
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I vet my clients pretty thoroughly.

You're correct that there's a lot I don't have control over, but that doesn't mean I can't influence it.

I try to help my clients in every way I can to lead to mutual success.

Plus with this particular client their ad account was in shambles, while they have a good product, site & conversion rate, so I'm pretty confident there.

I can't take a terrible site and hit 3-4x, but I can take a good site & offer and be the little boost that the client needs to get there through media buying, copy + creative.

I'd say majority of Facebook ads comes down to copy + creative, both of which we control.
Appreciate it man. So basically work with clients that already have a good offer and site, and with your agency be the last 'part' of the equation that gets them the results they need.

I actually run an eCom store now that has really good potential but the whole thing is so unstable and it's an emotional roller coaster every single day, so I always come back to this idea of building a marketing agency because you know exactly how much profit/money you make every month and it's somewhat stable.
 

Zahida A. Khan

New Contributor
Jun 11, 2020
8
5
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Toronto
@Xolorr, at 21 you are sharp as a whip!!

You've got your mindset correct and you know how to scale - Congratulations my dear chap and I trust $30K/month is right around the corner

Way 2 go!! :clap::

Go forth and conquer :fistbump::):fistbump:
 

Dami-B

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Jan 25, 2015
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Getting rested is important for productivity.

This is a great post, and a wonderful lifestyle business.

Just goes to show that there's opportunities everywhere.
 

trader1

PARKED
Aug 17, 2020
2
0
1
south africa
Wow, it's been a long time since I've been on this forum.

Hey guys, I'm Xolorr. I'm 21 Y/O from South Africa, and here's my story of how I kicked my a$$ into gear, finally started making some bread, and have some actionable advice that won't be fun but has helped me go from a broke-a$$ 21 y/o to now having $7k pm in MRR.

---

Backstory:

So, if you go back in my profile it'll be a picture-perfect display of action faking. I first found out about MJ and TMF when I was like 16/17, and I was hooked. What followed was years of mental masturbation and "attempts" at businesses. Looking back I'm disgusted to even call those attempts, and are more indicative of a millennial who's grown up on social media's expectations of overnight success, even though back then I swore I was working hard and "hustling".

Such is life, and I'll probably look back on this time in my life being like "wtf was I doing" in a couple of months.

If you don't feel slightly embarrassed/cringe about your past, you aren't growing.

(Not trying to act all high and mighty or as if I'm a millionaire, because I'm far from that lambo, but progress is still progress)

ANYWAYS, let's dive into what you all came for!

How did a broke-a$$ 21 Year old who had $35 in his bank account get to now having a business cash flowing $7k?

It's a long story, and I know that if I try to explain it all, it'll turn into a mini-book. But here's the gist of it.

I blame it all on grit and most importantly, an FTE.

You see, I've been reading and learning about business since I was like 16. I don't know why, but I've always had the surety that I would "make it". Ever since around 15 - 16 I realized school was BS, and I had to make it on my own if I wanted to personally be happy.

That being said, I grew up with bubble wrap. Middle class family, born into complacency in a small town, with no real hardships growing up. Yeah life was a rollercoaster and I have my fair share of childhood trauma, but there was always food on the table, and I lived in complacency. Never really had to work for anything, and kinda just had comfortable life in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

As soon as I turned 18 I wanted to leave, and after highschool I took the normal route of going to uni, except all I did was move to a uni-town, and study online.

I barely touched my books, and tbh had no clue what I was doing with my life. I'd spend all-day on TMF reading and rereading threads like this, and convincing myself I was taking action when truly I was just taking 2 weeks to build a terrible dropship Shopify store, buy an IG shoutout, and quit at the first signs of it not working. I convinced myself I was "taking actions", when tbh I was borderline depressed and lost.

From there I started freelancing photo and video, with whatever jobs came my way, and not actually going out trying to find my clients.

I had a lot of fun and crazy experiences in photo/video, but never earnt more than a couple of hundred bucks per job.

This brings me to the first biggest lesson:

Who you surround yourself with matters.


My roommates would go to uni, eat McDonald's, get drunk, and talk about girls they'd seen on Instagram all day. Compared to them, I was killing it making my $2000 per month off of random freelance gigs.

Things changed completely when I got a friend who "forced" me to start working out. I taught him about photo and video, and he'd train me, which is where everything started to click, and it was the first time I'd worked hard at something over multiple months as opposed to a couple weeks. The simple act of working out nearly every single day and the delay of seeing the results suddenly made me understand business, and how you aren't meant to see results for the first couple months.

After this, my video work started to take off and life improved. I quit drinking, started spending a load of time outdoors and really just feeling happy and passionate, but I definitely didn't have a business or any sustainable income.

Then I found the thread on here about a digital marketing agency, and decided thats what I was going to do.

Months went by of little to no work.

Making the perfect logo
Making the perfect website (Multiple times)
Building slideshow pitch decks

(None of which move the needle at all)

And time just carried on going by.

Then this year things started to change.

My family started to hit some financial struggle, and I saw the effect that it had on them

I made a load of money (at least what I thought at the time) by filming music festivals in the summer (December), but it made my lose my passion for videography and made me hate being treated with a lack of respect. I filmed 13 music festivals in one month, from 3pm to 3am, and finished the edits the next day every time. I slept in some crazy places, on friends couches, in my car, wherever I would find myself in the early hours of the morning, and at the New Years Eve festival, I vowed that it would be the last time I filmed out of necessity for money.

That's when I met my "mentor", who's now one of my best friends.

He had a youtube channel and he was visiting South Africa, and I sent a crazy DM offering to film his videos for him.

Somehow, it worked out.

For the first 5 months of this year, I worked myself to the grindstone.

Outreach during the day for Facebook advertising, in the evenings I would edit whatever I filmed that day and manage the channel.

I didn't get paid a cent, but he let me live with him and covered my food, so I was rent and grocery free for 5 month.

Nothing seemed to be working, and by March I had burnt through all of my savings, and had a whopping $35 in my bank account.

My Instagram made me look like a king from my video work (Trips to Dubai, Greece, Italy, Massive Parties, Jetskis, Etc.) because it was all a part of the job I was doing.

But I was broke asf.

That's when I believe my mental game finally switched on, and when it came to outreach I was on another level.

I would record 10 - 20 videos auditing companies every day, and send them out trying to get meetings, and finally one budged.

I signed my first client in April for $750 + 15% of the return from ads.

And after that, everything had clicked, and my next 2 clients came in like clockwork, taking me swiftly to a reoccurring income of $4000 per month.

More money than I'd ever seen in my life.

And that brings us to today, where I'm managing 5 client accounts (it was six but one dropped after a month because of a silver bullet 20ROAS expectation) and I have 3 deals in the pipeline.

Okay, your stories kinda cool, but tell me how to make money.

Well, I can't.

I'm but a guppy in this wild ocean of entrepreneurship, and there are much better sources than me who have given all of their secrets out on this forum.

You have it all in front of you.

BUT!

What I will do is give you some very practical advice on what has helped me!

#1) Trim the fat.


I don't mean go work out (Even though I should be). What I mean is trim the fat on your time.

Distractions and timesucks are what hold you back the most.

Do yourself a favour and check your screentime on your phone, and audit this CONSISTENTLY.

Hours are stolen by that little infinity box every day and you don't even realize it.

Unless you're crazy famous or an influencer, delete Instagram.

This will do WONDERS for your mental health and wellbeing, and I think everyone should do it.

It literally brings ZERO value to your life, whatsoever.

If you're so addicted that you can't be without it, check it on your computer. It's a much less enjoyable experience on your computer for some reason, and you'll spend ridiculously less time on it.

Same goes for TikTok!!!

I won't rant about this because we'd be here for days, but IMO it's the most brainwashing invention on earth, and it's turning people into zombies with a 2-second attention span.

#2) Prioritize sleep and get out of bed.

The days of "I'll sleep when I'm dead" and "Hustle 24/7" are gone. Save those for the meme pages.

You're a lot more emotionally stable, high energy, and effective when you sleep properly. It should be prioritized above all else.

Get 7 - 9 hours of sleep a night, and wake up at the same time every day.

Like hitting the snooze button? Create a system to stop it.

Download alarms or military alarm, and set it so you have to scan a barcode in your kitchen or do some physical activity to turn off the alarm.

This will work wonders in stopping the fight against yourself.

While you're at it, buy a cheap second-hand phone just for your alarm app of choice and music/podcasts. That way you're disconnected from mainstream BS until you finish your morning work. My main phone doesn't get turned on until 13:00 when I just have calls for the rest of the day.

You can get more done in a morning deep work block than most people can in an entire week if you get rid of distractions.

#3) Get a high-value skill and sell it

I'm not writing about making a new invention, coding, real estate, or anything like that because I've never done it, and to add to that, it takes capital.

My goal has always been to get a cashflow business running on autopilot, and then self-fund more scaleable ventures from there.

IMO the best way to start from zero is to learn a high-value skill, sell that skill, and then hire to do fulfilment.

This doesn't mean that you don't know how to produce the results, but it frees up time from delivering work for clients and being a freelancer, to be able to keep prioritizing sales and allows you to scale to a certain extent.

#4) The internet is the great equalizer

This one goes out to all my third world homies reading this.

YOU HAVE THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE OVER EVERYONE IN THE STATES AND YOU DON'T EVEN REALIZE IT.

You might think I'm crazy, but let's do a little maths here.

Off a google search that probably has very sketchy data, the average monthly costs for a single person in the US is $2,643.

I believe it's higher, especially in big cities. I mean, rent in LA is like $2k for a one-bedroom.

I'm currently writing this from a prime position, modern two-bedroom apartment in Cape Town, that costs me less than $900 a month, and this is me being extra and flexing my money.

If you're in a third world country or anywhere where your cost of living is low, imagine how well you could live on $2000 per month?!

You'll be spending less than the average American, and probably having 2-3X the quality of life.

SO DO BUSINESS WITH AMERICANS!!

With the internet, nothing is stopping you.

All of my clients are US based, and pay 3X more than what I would get working with local brands, FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK?!

Why would you not want to get paid 3X for the same time and effort?

Leverage your low cost of living to enjoy life while being frugal (in the eyes of the US).

#5 Quality & Quantity

This applies specifically to sales based models and getting it off the ground, but in today's day and age copying and pasting a "good cold email script" off of Google isn't going to get you anywhere.

People are getting hit up more than ever, and you need to go above and beyond to get even a modest attempt to client ratio.

With the system I use, I expect a 6% attempt to meeting ratio, and I understand that if I send out 100 outreaches in a month, I can sign 1 - 2 clients per month, at around a $1000 - $3000 MRR and a minimum of a 3-month contract.

In the beginning, all of your time should be spent on finding and getting in contact with prospects.

---

Whatever you're doing now, if you don't have an income stream you can create one with zero capital, and whatever device you're reading this on.

Some good examples:
- Digital Marketing (Getting saturated, I'm already planning on what to do if Facebook ads were to go belly up)
- Copywriting
- Email Marketing
- Photo/video
- Web Design

-----

I hope this all made sense, it's right before bed and I wrote this all off the top of my head.

As I mentioned, $7k per month really isn't a lot compared to the big dogs, but I'm glad that I'm able to save around 50% of that every month while living an extremely comfortable life, and the next steps are scaling this to $30k per month, and using my resources and skills to create new income streams which have more leverage and potential.

Hi Xolorr,

Also from South Africa, where can I contact you?

Thanks

Andre
 

andreAbtahi

New Contributor
Jul 25, 2020
1
1
1
Laguna Hills
Wow, it's been a long time since I've been on this forum.

Hey guys, I'm Xolorr. I'm 21 Y/O from South Africa, and here's my story of how I kicked my a$$ into gear, finally started making some bread, and have some actionable advice that won't be fun but has helped me go from a broke-a$$ 21 y/o to now having $7k pm in MRR.

---

Backstory:

So, if you go back in my profile it'll be a picture-perfect display of action faking. I first found out about MJ and TMF when I was like 16/17, and I was hooked. What followed was years of mental masturbation and "attempts" at businesses. Looking back I'm disgusted to even call those attempts, and are more indicative of a millennial who's grown up on social media's expectations of overnight success, even though back then I swore I was working hard and "hustling".

Such is life, and I'll probably look back on this time in my life being like "wtf was I doing" in a couple of months.

If you don't feel slightly embarrassed/cringe about your past, you aren't growing.

(Not trying to act all high and mighty or as if I'm a millionaire, because I'm far from that lambo, but progress is still progress)

ANYWAYS, let's dive into what you all came for!

How did a broke-a$$ 21 Year old who had $35 in his bank account get to now having a business cash flowing $7k?

It's a long story, and I know that if I try to explain it all, it'll turn into a mini-book. But here's the gist of it.

I blame it all on grit and most importantly, an FTE.

You see, I've been reading and learning about business since I was like 16. I don't know why, but I've always had the surety that I would "make it". Ever since around 15 - 16 I realized school was BS, and I had to make it on my own if I wanted to personally be happy.

That being said, I grew up with bubble wrap. Middle class family, born into complacency in a small town, with no real hardships growing up. Yeah life was a rollercoaster and I have my fair share of childhood trauma, but there was always food on the table, and I lived in complacency. Never really had to work for anything, and kinda just had comfortable life in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

As soon as I turned 18 I wanted to leave, and after highschool I took the normal route of going to uni, except all I did was move to a uni-town, and study online.

I barely touched my books, and tbh had no clue what I was doing with my life. I'd spend all-day on TMF reading and rereading threads like this, and convincing myself I was taking action when truly I was just taking 2 weeks to build a terrible dropship Shopify store, buy an IG shoutout, and quit at the first signs of it not working. I convinced myself I was "taking actions", when tbh I was borderline depressed and lost.

From there I started freelancing photo and video, with whatever jobs came my way, and not actually going out trying to find my clients.

I had a lot of fun and crazy experiences in photo/video, but never earnt more than a couple of hundred bucks per job.

This brings me to the first biggest lesson:

Who you surround yourself with matters.


My roommates would go to uni, eat McDonald's, get drunk, and talk about girls they'd seen on Instagram all day. Compared to them, I was killing it making my $2000 per month off of random freelance gigs.

Things changed completely when I got a friend who "forced" me to start working out. I taught him about photo and video, and he'd train me, which is where everything started to click, and it was the first time I'd worked hard at something over multiple months as opposed to a couple weeks. The simple act of working out nearly every single day and the delay of seeing the results suddenly made me understand business, and how you aren't meant to see results for the first couple months.

After this, my video work started to take off and life improved. I quit drinking, started spending a load of time outdoors and really just feeling happy and passionate, but I definitely didn't have a business or any sustainable income.

Then I found the thread on here about a digital marketing agency, and decided thats what I was going to do.

Months went by of little to no work.

Making the perfect logo
Making the perfect website (Multiple times)
Building slideshow pitch decks

(None of which move the needle at all)

And time just carried on going by.

Then this year things started to change.

My family started to hit some financial struggle, and I saw the effect that it had on them

I made a load of money (at least what I thought at the time) by filming music festivals in the summer (December), but it made my lose my passion for videography and made me hate being treated with a lack of respect. I filmed 13 music festivals in one month, from 3pm to 3am, and finished the edits the next day every time. I slept in some crazy places, on friends couches, in my car, wherever I would find myself in the early hours of the morning, and at the New Years Eve festival, I vowed that it would be the last time I filmed out of necessity for money.

That's when I met my "mentor", who's now one of my best friends.

He had a youtube channel and he was visiting South Africa, and I sent a crazy DM offering to film his videos for him.

Somehow, it worked out.

For the first 5 months of this year, I worked myself to the grindstone.

Outreach during the day for Facebook advertising, in the evenings I would edit whatever I filmed that day and manage the channel.

I didn't get paid a cent, but he let me live with him and covered my food, so I was rent and grocery free for 5 month.

Nothing seemed to be working, and by March I had burnt through all of my savings, and had a whopping $35 in my bank account.

My Instagram made me look like a king from my video work (Trips to Dubai, Greece, Italy, Massive Parties, Jetskis, Etc.) because it was all a part of the job I was doing.

But I was broke asf.

That's when I believe my mental game finally switched on, and when it came to outreach I was on another level.

I would record 10 - 20 videos auditing companies every day, and send them out trying to get meetings, and finally one budged.

I signed my first client in April for $750 + 15% of the return from ads.

And after that, everything had clicked, and my next 2 clients came in like clockwork, taking me swiftly to a reoccurring income of $4000 per month.

More money than I'd ever seen in my life.

And that brings us to today, where I'm managing 5 client accounts (it was six but one dropped after a month because of a silver bullet 20ROAS expectation) and I have 3 deals in the pipeline.

Okay, your stories kinda cool, but tell me how to make money.

Well, I can't.

I'm but a guppy in this wild ocean of entrepreneurship, and there are much better sources than me who have given all of their secrets out on this forum.

You have it all in front of you.

BUT!

What I will do is give you some very practical advice on what has helped me!

#1) Trim the fat.


I don't mean go work out (Even though I should be). What I mean is trim the fat on your time.

Distractions and timesucks are what hold you back the most.

Do yourself a favour and check your screentime on your phone, and audit this CONSISTENTLY.

Hours are stolen by that little infinity box every day and you don't even realize it.

Unless you're crazy famous or an influencer, delete Instagram.

This will do WONDERS for your mental health and wellbeing, and I think everyone should do it.

It literally brings ZERO value to your life, whatsoever.

If you're so addicted that you can't be without it, check it on your computer. It's a much less enjoyable experience on your computer for some reason, and you'll spend ridiculously less time on it.

Same goes for TikTok!!!

I won't rant about this because we'd be here for days, but IMO it's the most brainwashing invention on earth, and it's turning people into zombies with a 2-second attention span.

#2) Prioritize sleep and get out of bed.

The days of "I'll sleep when I'm dead" and "Hustle 24/7" are gone. Save those for the meme pages.

You're a lot more emotionally stable, high energy, and effective when you sleep properly. It should be prioritized above all else.

Get 7 - 9 hours of sleep a night, and wake up at the same time every day.

Like hitting the snooze button? Create a system to stop it.

Download alarms or military alarm, and set it so you have to scan a barcode in your kitchen or do some physical activity to turn off the alarm.

This will work wonders in stopping the fight against yourself.

While you're at it, buy a cheap second-hand phone just for your alarm app of choice and music/podcasts. That way you're disconnected from mainstream BS until you finish your morning work. My main phone doesn't get turned on until 13:00 when I just have calls for the rest of the day.

You can get more done in a morning deep work block than most people can in an entire week if you get rid of distractions.

#3) Get a high-value skill and sell it

I'm not writing about making a new invention, coding, real estate, or anything like that because I've never done it, and to add to that, it takes capital.

My goal has always been to get a cashflow business running on autopilot, and then self-fund more scaleable ventures from there.

IMO the best way to start from zero is to learn a high-value skill, sell that skill, and then hire to do fulfilment.

This doesn't mean that you don't know how to produce the results, but it frees up time from delivering work for clients and being a freelancer, to be able to keep prioritizing sales and allows you to scale to a certain extent.

#4) The internet is the great equalizer

This one goes out to all my third world homies reading this.

YOU HAVE THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE OVER EVERYONE IN THE STATES AND YOU DON'T EVEN REALIZE IT.

You might think I'm crazy, but let's do a little maths here.

Off a google search that probably has very sketchy data, the average monthly costs for a single person in the US is $2,643.

I believe it's higher, especially in big cities. I mean, rent in LA is like $2k for a one-bedroom.

I'm currently writing this from a prime position, modern two-bedroom apartment in Cape Town, that costs me less than $900 a month, and this is me being extra and flexing my money.

If you're in a third world country or anywhere where your cost of living is low, imagine how well you could live on $2000 per month?!

You'll be spending less than the average American, and probably having 2-3X the quality of life.

SO DO BUSINESS WITH AMERICANS!!

With the internet, nothing is stopping you.

All of my clients are US based, and pay 3X more than what I would get working with local brands, FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK?!

Why would you not want to get paid 3X for the same time and effort?

Leverage your low cost of living to enjoy life while being frugal (in the eyes of the US).

#5 Quality & Quantity

This applies specifically to sales based models and getting it off the ground, but in today's day and age copying and pasting a "good cold email script" off of Google isn't going to get you anywhere.

People are getting hit up more than ever, and you need to go above and beyond to get even a modest attempt to client ratio.

With the system I use, I expect a 6% attempt to meeting ratio, and I understand that if I send out 100 outreaches in a month, I can sign 1 - 2 clients per month, at around a $1000 - $3000 MRR and a minimum of a 3-month contract.

In the beginning, all of your time should be spent on finding and getting in contact with prospects.

---

Whatever you're doing now, if you don't have an income stream you can create one with zero capital, and whatever device you're reading this on.

Some good examples:
- Digital Marketing (Getting saturated, I'm already planning on what to do if Facebook ads were to go belly up)
- Copywriting
- Email Marketing
- Photo/video
- Web Design

-----

I hope this all made sense, it's right before bed and I wrote this all off the top of my head.

As I mentioned, $7k per month really isn't a lot compared to the big dogs, but I'm glad that I'm able to save around 50% of that every month while living an extremely comfortable life, and the next steps are scaling this to $30k per month, and using my resources and skills to create new income streams which have more leverage and potential.

You are such a champion, thank you for inspiring us. That was such a needed piece of fuel!
 

Altecdx

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Jun 27, 2020
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South Africa
I can't tell you how serendipitous the timing of this was.

I've spent most of the last couple days with this on my mind, and I've been thinking how I've somewhat outgrown my friend group, and how, although it sucks, I'm starting to come to the conclusion that my best friend is bringing more negativity into my life than positivity.

So yeah, right now I'm not spending a lot of time with/talking to a lot of people, and of the people who are in my life currently, I don't feel like they're pushing for me/happy about the business I have.

At risk of sounding like a twat, I listened to a podcast the other day where they spoke about how you leveling up can create a crab in a bucket syndrome because everyone around you looks at you thinking "why does he deserve it and not me?"

So long story short, I'm feeling a void in my social circle, and usually I would go out/socialize/meet people but the lockdowns in South Africa are still ridiculous so I need to find ways of advancing socially in this climate.

If this is something you've done, how did you go about initiating and doing this?

My biggest worry is that young people who are actually doing something with their lives is pretty rare, and more so in South Africa.

I'm thinking of booking a flight overseas soon and spending some time with friends there/travelling for a while if the borders open up soon enough.
We are now level 2 at least you can move around in SA now. I am also staying in SA, Pretoria. I Will like to meet you one of these days. I am an old man in my late 50's but your story inspired me. And I can still learn a lot from you. Thanks for this thread
 

being.simon

Contributor
Apr 1, 2019
35
27
44
Thanks for the great thread. I didn't really understand what you actually ended up doing though, for these companies. Video editing? Marketing? A mix of both?
 

Ocean Man

I build software solutions
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How did I not see this thread before? Way to leave gold nuggets OP. You're literally telling people, step-by-step, how to how you did it.
 

Peter Kay

New Contributor
Nov 7, 2019
5
6
11
Wow, it's been a long time since I've been on this forum.

Hey guys, I'm Xolorr. I'm 21 Y/O from South Africa, and here's my story of how I kicked my a$$ into gear, finally started making some bread, and have some actionable advice that won't be fun but has helped me go from a broke-a$$ 21 y/o to now having $7k pm in MRR.

---

Backstory:

So, if you go back in my profile it'll be a picture-perfect display of action faking. I first found out about MJ and TMF when I was like 16/17, and I was hooked. What followed was years of mental masturbation and "attempts" at businesses. Looking back I'm disgusted to even call those attempts, and are more indicative of a millennial who's grown up on social media's expectations of overnight success, even though back then I swore I was working hard and "hustling".

Such is life, and I'll probably look back on this time in my life being like "wtf was I doing" in a couple of months.

If you don't feel slightly embarrassed/cringe about your past, you aren't growing.

(Not trying to act all high and mighty or as if I'm a millionaire, because I'm far from that lambo, but progress is still progress)

ANYWAYS, let's dive into what you all came for!

How did a broke-a$$ 21 Year old who had $35 in his bank account get to now having a business cash flowing $7k?

It's a long story, and I know that if I try to explain it all, it'll turn into a mini-book. But here's the gist of it.

I blame it all on grit and most importantly, an FTE.

You see, I've been reading and learning about business since I was like 16. I don't know why, but I've always had the surety that I would "make it". Ever since around 15 - 16 I realized school was BS, and I had to make it on my own if I wanted to personally be happy.

That being said, I grew up with bubble wrap. Middle class family, born into complacency in a small town, with no real hardships growing up. Yeah life was a rollercoaster and I have my fair share of childhood trauma, but there was always food on the table, and I lived in complacency. Never really had to work for anything, and kinda just had comfortable life in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

As soon as I turned 18 I wanted to leave, and after highschool I took the normal route of going to uni, except all I did was move to a uni-town, and study online.

I barely touched my books, and tbh had no clue what I was doing with my life. I'd spend all-day on TMF reading and rereading threads like this, and convincing myself I was taking action when truly I was just taking 2 weeks to build a terrible dropship Shopify store, buy an IG shoutout, and quit at the first signs of it not working. I convinced myself I was "taking actions", when tbh I was borderline depressed and lost.

From there I started freelancing photo and video, with whatever jobs came my way, and not actually going out trying to find my clients.

I had a lot of fun and crazy experiences in photo/video, but never earnt more than a couple of hundred bucks per job.

This brings me to the first biggest lesson:

Who you surround yourself with matters.


My roommates would go to uni, eat McDonald's, get drunk, and talk about girls they'd seen on Instagram all day. Compared to them, I was killing it making my $2000 per month off of random freelance gigs.

Things changed completely when I got a friend who "forced" me to start working out. I taught him about photo and video, and he'd train me, which is where everything started to click, and it was the first time I'd worked hard at something over multiple months as opposed to a couple weeks. The simple act of working out nearly every single day and the delay of seeing the results suddenly made me understand business, and how you aren't meant to see results for the first couple months.

After this, my video work started to take off and life improved. I quit drinking, started spending a load of time outdoors and really just feeling happy and passionate, but I definitely didn't have a business or any sustainable income.

Then I found the thread on here about a digital marketing agency, and decided thats what I was going to do.

Months went by of little to no work.

Making the perfect logo
Making the perfect website (Multiple times)
Building slideshow pitch decks

(None of which move the needle at all)

And time just carried on going by.

Then this year things started to change.

My family started to hit some financial struggle, and I saw the effect that it had on them

I made a load of money (at least what I thought at the time) by filming music festivals in the summer (December), but it made my lose my passion for videography and made me hate being treated with a lack of respect. I filmed 13 music festivals in one month, from 3pm to 3am, and finished the edits the next day every time. I slept in some crazy places, on friends couches, in my car, wherever I would find myself in the early hours of the morning, and at the New Years Eve festival, I vowed that it would be the last time I filmed out of necessity for money.

That's when I met my "mentor", who's now one of my best friends.

He had a youtube channel and he was visiting South Africa, and I sent a crazy DM offering to film his videos for him.

Somehow, it worked out.

For the first 5 months of this year, I worked myself to the grindstone.

Outreach during the day for Facebook advertising, in the evenings I would edit whatever I filmed that day and manage the channel.

I didn't get paid a cent, but he let me live with him and covered my food, so I was rent and grocery free for 5 month.

Nothing seemed to be working, and by March I had burnt through all of my savings, and had a whopping $35 in my bank account.

My Instagram made me look like a king from my video work (Trips to Dubai, Greece, Italy, Massive Parties, Jetskis, Etc.) because it was all a part of the job I was doing.

But I was broke asf.

That's when I believe my mental game finally switched on, and when it came to outreach I was on another level.

I would record 10 - 20 videos auditing companies every day, and send them out trying to get meetings, and finally one budged.

I signed my first client in April for $750 + 15% of the return from ads.

And after that, everything had clicked, and my next 2 clients came in like clockwork, taking me swiftly to a reoccurring income of $4000 per month.

More money than I'd ever seen in my life.

And that brings us to today, where I'm managing 5 client accounts (it was six but one dropped after a month because of a silver bullet 20ROAS expectation) and I have 3 deals in the pipeline.

Okay, your stories kinda cool, but tell me how to make money.

Well, I can't.

I'm but a guppy in this wild ocean of entrepreneurship, and there are much better sources than me who have given all of their secrets out on this forum.

You have it all in front of you.

BUT!

What I will do is give you some very practical advice on what has helped me!

#1) Trim the fat.


I don't mean go work out (Even though I should be). What I mean is trim the fat on your time.

Distractions and timesucks are what hold you back the most.

Do yourself a favour and check your screentime on your phone, and audit this CONSISTENTLY.

Hours are stolen by that little infinity box every day and you don't even realize it.

Unless you're crazy famous or an influencer, delete Instagram.

This will do WONDERS for your mental health and wellbeing, and I think everyone should do it.

It literally brings ZERO value to your life, whatsoever.

If you're so addicted that you can't be without it, check it on your computer. It's a much less enjoyable experience on your computer for some reason, and you'll spend ridiculously less time on it.

Same goes for TikTok!!!

I won't rant about this because we'd be here for days, but IMO it's the most brainwashing invention on earth, and it's turning people into zombies with a 2-second attention span.

#2) Prioritize sleep and get out of bed.

The days of "I'll sleep when I'm dead" and "Hustle 24/7" are gone. Save those for the meme pages.

You're a lot more emotionally stable, high energy, and effective when you sleep properly. It should be prioritized above all else.

Get 7 - 9 hours of sleep a night, and wake up at the same time every day.

Like hitting the snooze button? Create a system to stop it.

Download alarms or military alarm, and set it so you have to scan a barcode in your kitchen or do some physical activity to turn off the alarm.

This will work wonders in stopping the fight against yourself.

While you're at it, buy a cheap second-hand phone just for your alarm app of choice and music/podcasts. That way you're disconnected from mainstream BS until you finish your morning work. My main phone doesn't get turned on until 13:00 when I just have calls for the rest of the day.

You can get more done in a morning deep work block than most people can in an entire week if you get rid of distractions.

#3) Get a high-value skill and sell it

I'm not writing about making a new invention, coding, real estate, or anything like that because I've never done it, and to add to that, it takes capital.

My goal has always been to get a cashflow business running on autopilot, and then self-fund more scaleable ventures from there.

IMO the best way to start from zero is to learn a high-value skill, sell that skill, and then hire to do fulfilment.

This doesn't mean that you don't know how to produce the results, but it frees up time from delivering work for clients and being a freelancer, to be able to keep prioritizing sales and allows you to scale to a certain extent.

#4) The internet is the great equalizer

This one goes out to all my third world homies reading this.

YOU HAVE THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE OVER EVERYONE IN THE STATES AND YOU DON'T EVEN REALIZE IT.

You might think I'm crazy, but let's do a little maths here.

Off a google search that probably has very sketchy data, the average monthly costs for a single person in the US is $2,643.

I believe it's higher, especially in big cities. I mean, rent in LA is like $2k for a one-bedroom.

I'm currently writing this from a prime position, modern two-bedroom apartment in Cape Town, that costs me less than $900 a month, and this is me being extra and flexing my money.

If you're in a third world country or anywhere where your cost of living is low, imagine how well you could live on $2000 per month?!

You'll be spending less than the average American, and probably having 2-3X the quality of life.

SO DO BUSINESS WITH AMERICANS!!

With the internet, nothing is stopping you.

All of my clients are US based, and pay 3X more than what I would get working with local brands, FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK?!

Why would you not want to get paid 3X for the same time and effort?

Leverage your low cost of living to enjoy life while being frugal (in the eyes of the US).

#5 Quality & Quantity

This applies specifically to sales based models and getting it off the ground, but in today's day and age copying and pasting a "good cold email script" off of Google isn't going to get you anywhere.

People are getting hit up more than ever, and you need to go above and beyond to get even a modest attempt to client ratio.

With the system I use, I expect a 6% attempt to meeting ratio, and I understand that if I send out 100 outreaches in a month, I can sign 1 - 2 clients per month, at around a $1000 - $3000 MRR and a minimum of a 3-month contract.

In the beginning, all of your time should be spent on finding and getting in contact with prospects.

---

Whatever you're doing now, if you don't have an income stream you can create one with zero capital, and whatever device you're reading this on.

Some good examples:
- Digital Marketing (Getting saturated, I'm already planning on what to do if Facebook ads were to go belly up)
- Copywriting
- Email Marketing
- Photo/video
- Web Design

-----

I hope this all made sense, it's right before bed and I wrote this all off the top of my head.

As I mentioned, $7k per month really isn't a lot compared to the big dogs, but I'm glad that I'm able to save around 50% of that every month while living an extremely comfortable life, and the next steps are scaling this to $30k per month, and using my resources and skills to create new income streams which have more leverage and potential.
Inspiring thread Xolorr
 

Peter Kay

New Contributor
Nov 7, 2019
5
6
11
Here's my advice:

If you're able to reply to this and learn code (Meaning you have access to the internet and some type of computer) there's really no excuse.

You don't need a business plan (I still don't have one)
You don't need any organizations
You don't need a registered company

All you need is to get infront of people, and offer them a service.

What can you offer?

It sounds like you know how to code, so why not start freelancing code?

(Don't reach out to South African businesses, we want to earn dollars. It's easier to earn $1000 than R17000)

So have a look at @Fox 's threads on web design, it's all there, and start sending emails to companies who could need your services.

Start building websites, writing copy, and build a portfolio around whatever you want to do.

Here's the blueprint:

You've got a PTY LTD, so it sounds like you already have a business name, if not, come up with one.

This shouldn't take more than 10 - 15 minutes, use Business Name Generator - Easily create Brandable Business Names - Namelix

Keep it simple, names really don't matter.

Have a name?

Cool, let's make it official

Get a domain from godaddy.com or some other registrar

Get a .com, most clients will be boomers and won't trust a .xyz or something else that looks spammy

Get yourself a website, don't be tempted to go down the rabbit hole here, we want to get you up and running asap. You can change it later.

I'd recommend using Carrd - Simple, free, fully responsive one-page sites for pretty much anything, it's dead simple.

This shouldn't take more than an hour or two, use unsplash.com for photos

Get a logo, again, don't overthink this. There are a ton of logo generators, you can literally just make your logo text saying the company name as well.

Fiverr

Dead easy.

Sweet! So now you've done literally nothing that will earn you money (most people think the $$$'s should start rolling in after they spend 5 days crafting the 'perfect' logo & put entrepreneur in their insta bio.

All you've done is make your business look legit in the eyes of your customer, which reduces the friction when it's time for them to get out their credit card.

So what are you going to sell?

I recommend code, copywriting or digital marketing.

Find something where you can trade time & expertise for money.

Not Fastlane, but nothing is from the start.

You can outsource delivery later to focus on a more scaleable bus later, let's just get you your first $1000

Now that you've decided on something you're gonna sell, split your time between two things:

Learning & implementing (these go hand in hand, you can't just watch youtube videos without implementing what you learn and call yourself an expert. Write mock ads, create websites, whatever you need to do to actually implement your skills).

Selling.

Selling is what's going to move the needle.

Selling 101:

- Pick a niche

There are SO many out there, just pick one where your services are valued

- Find a database of leads:

Selling to architecture firms?

Google: California + architecture firms should be good

Have a look at their websites/FB ads/Copy/Email List, whatever you're selling, and check how you can improve it.

If you can improve it, add it to a google sheet

If you can't, move onto the next.

Cool! Now you have a list of leads!

Next is to get in touch of the decision makers.

There are SO many ways to do this.

- Cold Email
- Cold Calling
- LinkedIn
- Facebook
- Instagram
- Messenger Pigeons

Pick one, and get in touch.

Your only objective is to get them on a call. (In your case skype or zoom)

Sell the meeting, not the service

You landed a sales call? HOLY $H*T, TAKING ACTION ACTUALLY WORKS!

You've still got a long way to go from here, but I'm proud of you.

It'll probs take you multiple calls to sign a client, but that's the name of the game.

Explain what you can do, how it's going make them WAY more $$$, show them examples of your work, and explain why what you're going to do for them is 20X more valuable than the money they have sitting in their platinum Amex.

Name a price.

They said yes?!

Now things are rolling...

Get yourself a PayPal or Transferwise so that you can claim your $$$

Make an invoice with some online generator

Now all you have to do is deliver on what you promised, get a good review, ask for referrals, then rinse & repeat.

There are nuances to every part, but that's for you to figure out by trial and error.

Create systems which you can replicate, and this becomes second nature.

& there it is, your ticket to R100k per month ($8k)

I challenge you to send out 15 emails today to prospects & see what happens
This is literally a blueprint well laid out for many here. Thank you Xolorr for being this generous.
 

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OP
OP
Xolorr

Xolorr

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 4, 2018
127
457
231
21
Cape Town, South Africa
How did I not see this thread before? Way to leave gold nuggets OP. You're literally telling people, step-by-step, how to how you did it.
A unique mix of both that not may others are doing
 
OP
OP
Xolorr

Xolorr

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 4, 2018
127
457
231
21
Cape Town, South Africa
Appreciate it man. So basically work with clients that already have a good offer and site, and with your agency be the last 'part' of the equation that gets them the results they need.

I actually run an eCom store now that has really good potential but the whole thing is so unstable and it's an emotional roller coaster every single day, so I always come back to this idea of building a marketing agency because you know exactly how much profit/money you make every month and it's somewhat stable.
Why not focus on the ecom business?

My only reason for not launching my own brand is the pain in the a$$ payment gateways that kill conversions and trust (Stripe isn't available here).

I'm going to launch an ecom brand as soon as I can, more scaleable.
 

OneLife

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Nov 8, 2019
45
74
97
Israel
Why not focus on the ecom business?

My only reason for not launching my own brand is the pain in the a$$ payment gateways that kill conversions and trust (Stripe isn't available here).

I'm going to launch an ecom brand as soon as I can, more scaleable.
haha, I feel you on the payment gateways. I was only using PayPal and they hold 100% of my payments all the time. Cash flow game non existent.

I already got my LLC and will be getting Stripe within the next couple of days, so It'll be interesting.
 

ProcessPro

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 26, 2018
240
287
168
Why not focus on the ecom business?

My only reason for not launching my own brand is the pain in the a$$ payment gateways that kill conversions and trust (Stripe isn't available here).

I'm going to launch an ecom brand as soon as I can, more scaleable.
[/QUOT

@Xolorr
Stripe isn't available in my country either. I was looking into ways I could get it to work earlier this year and I stumbled across this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmPVHhg7zXY


I haven't tried it myself yet though.

Anyways, thanks for this thread. It's inspired me to aim higher in my freelancing work and to try to think of ways to grow it. I too am from a 3rd world country so that part really resonated with me. I get underpaid by US standards (I work for $1500 USD per month) but it converts really well for me - to about 2x the salary I got working locally in my last job, so I'm really happy with that, plus, I always think that they only hired me because they know that they can pay me a cheaper rate since I'm a third worlder.

I'm now thinking of ways I can do better though. If I can work up to 7k monthly...That will be like a year's expenses every month.

I want to apply your model of acquiring clients to my own work, but if I'm to be completely honest, I'm concerned about both my accent and race (I'm of Indian descent but I'm from the Caribbean). I don't want to ask you your race, but if you were non-white and had an accent too, I'd totally think that if Xolorr can do it, so can I...haha. Totally embarrassed to admit that, but it's an honest thought.
 

Simon Angel

Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 24, 2016
247
621
257
Stripe isn't available in my country either. I was looking into ways I could get it to work earlier this year and I stumbled across this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmPVHhg7zXY


I haven't tried it myself yet though.

Anyways, thanks for this thread. It's inspired me to aim higher in my freelancing work and to try to think of ways to grow it. I too am from a 3rd world country so that part really resonated with me. I get underpaid by US standards (I work for $1500 USD per month) but it converts really well for me - to about 2x the salary I got working locally in my last job, so I'm really happy with that, plus, I always think that they only hired me because they know that they can pay me a cheaper rate since I'm a third worlder.

I'm now thinking of ways I can do better though. If I can work up to 7k monthly...That will be like a year's expenses every month.

I want to apply your model of acquiring clients to my own work, but if I'm to be completely honest, I'm concerned about both my accent and race (I'm of Indian descent but I'm from the Caribbean). I don't want to ask you your race, but if you were non-white and had an accent too, I'd totally think that if Xolorr can do it, so can I...haha. Totally embarrassed to admit that, but it's an honest thought.
Racial profiling is certainly a thing and I've found pretty much everyone to be guilty of it. It's not just about color but also culture, accent, manner of speaking. It's tough but I wouldn't really worry if your English is nice and fluid. If it's not, work on that first but mostly work on your overall message - get to the point straight away (how you can help them) and use permission-based marketing to set up a call/meeting i.e "Would you be open to a quick call this week?".
 

ProcessPro

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 26, 2018
240
287
168
Racial profiling is certainly a thing and I've found pretty much everyone to be guilty of it. It's not just about color but also culture, accent, manner of speaking. It's tough but I wouldn't really worry if your English is nice and fluid. If it's not, work on that first but mostly work on your overall message - get to the point straight away (how you can help them) and use permission-based marketing to set up a call/meeting i.e "Would you be open to a quick call this week?".
Thanks Simon. I appreciate your response and the ideas and will definitely give it some further thought as I plan a way forward.
 

trader1

PARKED
Aug 17, 2020
2
0
1
south africa
We are now level 2 at least you can move around in SA now. I am also staying in SA, Pretoria. I Will like to meet you one of these days. I am an old man in my late 50's but your story inspired me. And I can still learn a lot from you. Thanks for this thread
49 myself, also in Pta.
 

Frozt

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 10, 2020
5
6
14
Asia
Stripe isn't available in my country either. I was looking into ways I could get it to work earlier this year and I stumbled across this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmPVHhg7zXY


I haven't tried it myself yet though.

Anyways, thanks for this thread. It's inspired me to aim higher in my freelancing work and to try to think of ways to grow it. I too am from a 3rd world country so that part really resonated with me. I get underpaid by US standards (I work for $1500 USD per month) but it converts really well for me - to about 2x the salary I got working locally in my last job, so I'm really happy with that, plus, I always think that they only hired me because they know that they can pay me a cheaper rate since I'm a third worlder.

I'm now thinking of ways I can do better though. If I can work up to 7k monthly...That will be like a year's expenses every month.

I want to apply your model of acquiring clients to my own work, but if I'm to be completely honest, I'm concerned about both my accent and race (I'm of Indian descent but I'm from the Caribbean). I don't want to ask you your race, but if you were non-white and had an accent too, I'd totally think that if Xolorr can do it, so can I...haha. Totally embarrassed to admit that, but it's an honest thought.
Do you use cold calling to reach out your customers?
 

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