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GOLD! Did It: Zero to $12k a Month While Traveling the World

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by GoodluckChuck, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. GoodluckChuck
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    GoodluckChuck Grateful Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    So you saw the headline and decided to click and see what this post is all about. That was literally what I did about 1.5 years ago when I saw Rob O'Rourke's (@Fox) post with a very similar title.

    Back then I was looking for a way out of my 9-5 world. Don't get me wrong. I had my dream job. At least it was my dream at the time. I was working full time as a residential construction superintendent. I spent my days driving around Portland, Oregon acting as the bridge between homeowners, contractors, engineers, architects, designers, and city offices.

    It was a sweet gig. I was making 52k/yr salary with full benefits, a company truck, cell phone, laptop, credit card, and 3 weeks per year of paid vacation. I was in hog heaven.

    Then why did I feel so empty inside? Okay, maybe it wasn't that. Maybe it was the fact that I was removing a nasty-a$$ toilet for the third time in a week for an ungrateful homeowner who had nothing but complaints despite my constant a$$ kissing. That moment while I was hugging that grimy, stinky toilet was my F*ck this moment. You know, that moment that MJ talks about when you drop everything you're doing, turn tail, and get the F*ck out? Ya, that was it. It was the smell of shit coming from the poop stain 3 inches away from my face...

    Back Up a Couple Months
    The F*ck This Event came in May of 2017. 3 months earlier was when I discovered The Millionaire Fastlane. It's kind of a fun story and I'll try to make it short.

    There I was home alone on a Saturday night. My girlfriend was visiting family so I was laying on the couch high out of my mind on some legal Marijuana playing video games. I was 10 hours deep into gaming when I finally turned it off and just sat there. I had a hollow feeling. One that I've had many times. "What am I doing with my life?"

    This was a normal pattern for me where I would alternate back and forth between extremely unproductive behavior and the highly motivated obsessive though short lived pursuit of something more.

    I decided that my time would be better spent developing a skill that was actually marketable. They always say that it takes 10000 hours to become a master at something and if you want to make a ton of money, you have to be a master, right? So I started doing some calculations to see how long it would take me to become a master at a new skill.

    My thought process at the time was Master Skill > Self-Employed > More Money > More Freedom

    I added up all the time I spent each week at my job, hanging with the gf, eating, working out, watching tv, etc. When it was all laid out I determined I had about 14 hours per week I could comfortably apply to the pursuit of building a new skillset. Let's see... 14 hours per week at 52 weeks per year is 728 hours per year.. carry the two.. so if I applied 14 hours a week to skill development I would be a master in...

    14 years.... F*ck!!!

    Holy shit I never realized how much of my time was being eaten up by things I didn't particularly care to do. 50 hours per week for a job? It was that moment that I knew something wasn't right. The seed was planted for me to scrap the old paradigm and find a new one.

    After this demystifying exercise I found myself with a gigantic flush of motivation.

    I didn't know what else to do so I did a google search for "Best book on being successful."

    The first search result was a reddit post where some guy listed his top 10 books on being successful. #1 was TMF. I thought, "Hey it's number 1 so it must be the best." I quickly went online and picked up the digital copy and started reading it.

    Needless to say it was riveting. Two days later I finished the last page and immediately had a panic attack. I knew I had to do something to change my life but I didn't know what.

    The months following this revelatory learning experience were spent on this very forum obsessively consuming information about what others were doing besides slaving their lives away at a job they didn't even want to do.

    This is when I discovered Rob's post about web design. He was making 10k/mo working from Columbia building websites. He also put out a course teaching others how to do it. I bought it along with another course. The total investment was $2300 which was more than I had ever invested in myself before.

    There's something to be said about investing a large amount in something like a course. Whether the course is valuable or not, the very act of investing such a large amount triggers the sunk-cost fallacy and makes you feel like you have to get your moneys worth or you'll die. You HAVE to make it work. There's no other choice. This is a good place to be in when you want to achieve something. "I have no other options."

    Buying these courses was the smartest things I've ever done.


    With all the different business models one could choose, I chose web design and marketing for two reasons:

    1. I knew that I wanted to be a businessman, so I needed to learn about business. As a freelance web designer and marketer I get the opportunity to work with businesses of all types in all locations. I get to learn what works and what doesn't straight from the source.

    2. I wanted to be free to work from wherever I wanted.



    The Runway
    While I was taking my online courses, the construction company I was working for happened to be struggling. We had lost the only job we had going which was valued at about 200k. To top it off we had no leads in the pipeline. We were pretty much F*cked.

    The owner thought I was the prodigal son and I could do no wrong. So, when I pitched to him that I would make a website and use Google Adwords to get leads, he was onboard. I saw this as an opportunity to get paid to learn a skill I could use to get me some of that sweet sweet freedom.

    I threw together a shitty website and ran Google ads with the help of @Andy Black Adwords Jumpstart course. In 2 months we had jobs going and a full pipeline. Success! It was working!

    This achievement gave me a ton of courage in terms of quitting my job to start my own business. I've always been a sink or swim type of guy. If things are comfortable I can get lazy, but if I need to perform, I always deliver. I've never missed any payment or bill in my life despite the fact that I've always been very poor.

    With that said, I realized that if I kept my 9-5 job and my comfortable salary I wouldn't have the energy after work to pursue anything else. It was a scary decision to consider...

    It still took me a few months to build up enough courage, and with ~3k in the bank and a laptop, I quit my job and jumped into Entrepreneurship 100%.

    (Please note that I don't have any kids or debt. If I needed to, I could probably get by on less than $1000 per month.)

    The First Year
    During the first year I only made about $28k doing freelance web design. The cool part is that I was only working part time. I spent about 15-30 hours per week working on projects and 40 or so hours per week reading, studying, taking courses, and experimenting with online marketing on my own projects.

    Around May of 2018, about 6 months after I went full time into freelance, my girlfriend quit her job and we started traveling the world. We landed in Bali, Indonesia first thanks to advice from Matt Robinson, another member of this forum. Two weeks in she got bored and quickly found a remote job doing sales for a company called Remote Year. Part of the deal was she had to go live in Mexico City for 3 months and train. I liked it a lot because we got a free condo in a really nice part of town, not to mention the constant exposure to traveling entrepreneurs. Heaven...

    The girlfriend working was great for my productivity as I didn't have to put up with a constant moving distraction that seems to be a black hole for attention. You know, the typical girlfriend. Haha

    Getting Smart with the Passive Income
    In May of 2018 I was feeling the pain of the boom and bust business cycle of a freelance web designer. I would make a 5k sale one month, work on the project for a month, then find myself with no sales and no income the next month. It was emotional going from such highs to such lows all the time. This is when I decided to start going for MRR, or monthly reoccurring revenue.

    I started selling website care plans and review funnels in addition to the websites.

    A care plan basically means I take care of a client's website and provide 2 hours per month for edits. Besides never having to worry about their website being hacked or down, they get instant responses whenever they have an issue, questions, or just need service. With this I was able to turn regular web design clients into $250/mo care plan clients.

    I also sold review funnels. Basically a review funnel is a one page website with a special url that makes it as easy as possible for a customer to leave a company a review on multiple sites. I was selling these for $150/mo. This is a great one because they are super low maintenance and provide a ton of value for the right kind of client. I've seen others charge a lot more but I like to keep it low key as to keep the payments coming in for long periods of time without a second glance from the client.

    It only took two months for me to get to $650/mo in MRR. This was a magic number for me because this covered my living and business expenses. Got to love the low overhead of freelance web design...

    This lowered my stress tremendously and gave me the breathing room to pursue more risky projects and come up with more creative deals.

    The rest of 2018 was great. I spent 7 months abroad. I went to Bali twice and Mexico 3 times. I made friends everywhere and picked up clients each place I went. Now I work with clients all over the world.

    2019
    Now it's 2019 and business is better than ever. My conservative projection for 2019 is $140k and I'm still only working part time. The MRR is about to pass 3k/mo and only takes up about 3 hours of my time per month.

    I've settled on providing complete holistic marketing services for small to medium sized businesses. You could say I'm more of a consultant. I come in and work with a client to figure out exactly what's holding them back then come up with a strategy to get them to where they want to go. Inbound marketing is my weapon of choice as I enjoy creating content that brings in large amounts of traffic which I then turn into customers and sales.

    I haven't niched down into any one type of service or market which definitely has its challenges. It's definitely not a business I plan on scaling broadly in terms of quantity of clients, but perhaps in terms of magnitude, or size of projects. The sweet spot for project size for my company is 10-20k. This size project pays well and is still small enough that I don't have to work with large teams or groups of decision makers.

    I like this set up because I'm still being exposed to tons of different businesses and learning a lot. It also gives me breathing room to be flexible with my direction which I'm still figuring out. Freedom and flexibility are two of my most important values.

    I have a couple side projects going that have potential to earn me a lot more than my marketing agency simply because they are much more scalable. I plan on keeping my agency going if only to service my book of clients as well as market any companies I start or acquire in the future.

    One of the best parts of this whole business has been the relationships I've developed with people all over the world. I have more friends than ever and everywhere I travel to I know someone who will meet up for a beer or an adventure. I've even met up with Rob a few times which is super cool because he's someone I really looked up to over the last few years.

    Lessons Learned
    I hope to share some things that might help others who are just getting started. This could be considered an exercise in trying to relate to myself the way I was 2 years ago before I was blessed with the curse of knowledge. Hell, 3 years ago I had to look up the term "marketing" because I didn't even know what it meant... Can you believe that?

    Here is a list of 5 things I would tell my younger self.

    1. Mindset is more important than anything else.

    There are a lot of things that make up a mindset, for example: self esteem. Self esteem has such a huge role on how we see ourselves and others. It effects every single thing we do and every thought we have. I think the topic of self esteem is worth researching in the very beginning, or at any stage for that matter. Get in tune with where you're at and what you think of yourself. Ask yourself, "What do I need to be like in order for me to feel great about myself?"

    There's three books I recommend for this:

    - Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins - This is like an instruction manual for your mind. Mine is full of notes... I regularly open up to a random page and read it like the Bible. (Get the old version at Goodwill or some other thrift shop. The new versions are a condensed version meant to sell his other products.)
    - The Six Pillars of Self Esteem by Nathaniel Brandon - A solid presentation of what self esteem is, what it does, and how to cultivate it.
    - 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class by Steve Siebold - This book is a gateway to learning how to be a world class human being. It's got tons of recommendations for other books. I can't recommend this book enough.
    2. If you don't know what to do, just do something. Anything!
    In today's world we have too many options. In the old days people had to find food. They had to build shelter, collect firewood, and make as many babies as they could because most of them wouldn't survive. Life was all about survival.

    In today's world we don't have to worry about that kind of stuff. The result of this phenomenon is an entire population frozen in indecision because they don't know what to do. It's my belief that if you find yourself not knowing what direction to head, just start walking. Pick something and start doing it. You'll quickly discover whether it's working for you or not and then decide to continue or change direction.

    If you never start moving, it's easy to wake up and realize the years have gone by but you've stood still. This was me for years. Don't let it be you! Get moving!!!
    3. Read, a lot.
    I know a lot of people. The ones that read are miles ahead of the ones that don't. What else can I say? From ages 18 to 28 I read maybe 10 books. From 28 to 30 I read over 100. I can't even begin to describe the difference this made for me.

    Read. Listen. Expose yourself to new information in whatever way is effective for you. Just know that there's something special about reading. Your subconscious mind creates a world with the information thus making reading super effective. TV and Audio is good but your brain is much less active during these activities.
    4. Be a Good Person
    Good people are more successful than bad people. This might sound silly but it's true. Write a paragraph about what makes a really good person then make it your mission to be like that.

    If you automatically consider other people and go out of your way to make their lives better, money will magically find its way into your pocket. It's magic. Did I say that already?
    5. Get Uncomfortable
    The first time you drive on the freeway it's really scary. Cars are moving fast and the stakes are high. If you mess up, you're dead. It's quite uncomfortable, no?

    After a couple hundred times driving on the freeway it's just not a big deal, right? You can do it in your sleep, almost... Why do you think that is? Did driving get any easier? Or, did you just get better?

    This analogy can relate to anything in life. If you are always comfortable, it means you are never getting better at anything. If you want to grow and become a better person, you have to expose yourself to situations that make you uncomfortable.

    I've learned to notice when I'm getting too comfortable. That's usually the time I pack my bags and head somewhere I've never been or look for a situation that scares me. I can't even tell you how much I've grown since I realized this.
    Well, thank you for reading my short progress story. I hope you found something valuable to take away and use in your own journey.

    If you have any questions, ask away. I've got nothing to hide and am happy to be as transparent as possible to help others like myself who just need to see someone else do it to give them the courage to follow suit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  2. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Good work on escaping a job, and then escaping freelancing by growing your MRR.

    I love the advice to just get moving. "You can't steer a parked car" (James Schramko)

    Dayum. Good work!
     
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  3. KeepGoin
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    KeepGoin Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I get emails in my inbox daily of people offering SEO services. My question for you would be, how do you set yourself apart.. Are you using name tags? Or do you personally email each prospect?

    I'm guessing a batch email to a list is the most common way companies operate in these situations.

    Thanks for the writeup and congrats on your success
     
  4. GoodluckChuck
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    GoodluckChuck Grateful Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Yeah I don't bother with cold outreach like spamming hundreds of emails.

    I would say I get half my clients from referrals and the other half from content I've produced.

    I set myself apart by ignoring my competition and focusing 100% on my prospect. If I think I can get the the results they want I use past success to prove to them I can do it. Then I use creative deal making to lower their risk and make it a no brainier decision.
     
  5. Mauri Dovan
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    Hi, I'm new to the forum. Just joined because your post is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    I liked this review funnels thing you mentioned. Where can I find how to do something like that? Do you integrate some kind of special tool/form for this? Do you host the page yourself and then get paid monthly while your client uses it?

    Thanks in advance, and congrats on the business!
     
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  6. GoodluckChuck
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    GoodluckChuck Grateful Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey Mauri!

    I'm glad you joined TFF. Its a good place to surround one's self with like-minded people.

    The review funnel thing started with Grade.us.

    You can purchase their service for 3 websites for 90/mo. There are tons of these services these days so you can probably do a search for "review management" and find a bunch.

    Some of my clients didn't need the full reputation management service so I made a very similar thing with WordPress.

    Be aware that "review gating" is against Google terms of service so don't try to ward off bad reviews.

    A neat thing about the review funnel is you give it its own URL and make it no index so the only people that go there are the ones sent there.
     
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  7. Vigilante
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    Vigilante Legendary Contributor Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Noteable. Rep+
     
  8. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    Stories like this remind me why I write, and why I spend so much time here.

    Thanks for sharing, upgraded to GOLD, not because you're making millions, but because you found your freedom and control.
     
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  9. Drake Nguyen
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    Drake Nguyen New Contributor

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    Could you post a link to Rob's course. I'm new to this forum and don't know where to find it? Also would it be possible to learn web design like you did while also being a full-time college students
     
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  10. Roz
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    Roz Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I think this is the one.

    Web Design Business Foundation

    Fox also created some excellent threads:

    GOLD! - How to Learn Code, Start a Web Company, $15k+ per month within 9 months

    Fox's Travelling the World while Coding Thread


    EDIT: Thank you for sharing your story @GoodluckChuck. It was inspiring.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  11. The Autobahn
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    All nice and done BUT the point is the Internet is flooded with Freelancers.. so if you have very special connections and found a niche market, gratulations.
    Because what i have seen is, its not easy even for advanced programmers. The second thing is most companys already have from the beginning website masters.. so the Entry Bareer is also hard.
    But im open for Suggestions.
     
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  12. AgainstAllOdds
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    AgainstAllOdds Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Awesome. +Rep

    Where's your home base now? If we cross paths, I'd love to buy you a beer.
     
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  13. AgainstAllOdds
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    AgainstAllOdds Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    You have a mindset problem.

    "Freelancer" basically means an individual working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company.

    The concept is simple:

    If an employer can afford to hire you, that means that he's making money off of you. You might as well just work for yourself and get paid what you're actually worth in the market. What you're worth is based on how well you market yourself, and the value that you provide.

    What are you good at?

    How can you make someone else money, or their life better?

    Those are the questions you need to answer. Then you need to figure out how much the market values those skills, and how you can go out and find people to pay you for those skills.

    Good luck man.
     
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  14. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    This is an excellent write up, thank you for this.

    Number 4 - being a good person, speaks to me especially. It's not talked about a lot, but it's very important.
     
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    Great journey my friend! Thanks for sharing it here.

    It surprises me though, that the webdesign industry isn't saturated yet. Anyways, you seem to have found a way through it also a key thing for an entrepreneur to have I guess ;)
     
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  16. Andy Black
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    Web design is NOT saturated. More people are searching online than ever before, and most websites are shocking on desktops never mind mobile.

    Even if everyones’ sites were good, then how would business owners set themselves apart from the herd? By raising the bar constantly.
     
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  17. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Mind your speech patterns. They stop you seeing solutions and opportunities.

    Yes, but
     
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    Thanks for the write up ! No rep to transfer but the thought is there. Would love to see the rest of your reading list.
    Totally inspiring!
     
  19. Andy Daniels
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    Andy Daniels Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    So awesome! Congrats on your progress!

    I'm fairly new to web design/digital marketing agency business, and I love learning about the different ways people like you are helping clients.

    Looking forward to hearing more. All the best!
     
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    What an inspiring story! Way to go! REP+!

    I'm particularly intrigued by the feedback funnels. That is super powerful. What a great way to provide value and collect MRR at the same time!
     
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    Hi Chuck, thanks for the write up of your story. Amazing read !

    I'm also a member of the Fox Pro Sales Group, maybe you recognize me (Christopher Koch).

    Anyway, i got one question: What do you think are the key factors that made you succeed so far, compared to many other members in the group or in general as a webdesigner ? (or online marketer if you will).

    Thanks and regards from germany !
     
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  22. GoodluckChuck
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    GoodluckChuck Grateful Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    It's definitely possible and Rob's course is a great place to start.

    The community built around the course is what will help you stick with it and not get discouraged.

    From what I've seen an experienced, you can make money doing anything as long as you stick with it long enough.

    That means If you try web design and it doesn't take off right away, know that that is normal! Good luck!

    I'll look for a link to Rob's course later today.
     
    Roz likes this.
  23. GoodluckChuck
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    GoodluckChuck Grateful Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I take it you haven't tried?

    I used to think this kind of stuff too but the better I get, the less competition I see.

    Indeed there are a ton of freelancers but the majority of them are lacking sales skills which leaves them hovering around Upwork competing for the same low paying jobs.

    When I talk to prospective customers I am ALWAYS the only one that takes the time to learn about them and their company to identify their specific problems so I can present solutions to THOSE problems.

    I show them solutions to their problems. Everyone else shows them a website with 8 pages.

    The market being flooded doesn't really mean anything.
     
    Boris507, Roulf, mercenariez and 14 others like this.
  24. GoodluckChuck
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    GoodluckChuck Grateful Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks! I'm based in Spokane, Washington but I travel all over.
     
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  25. GoodluckChuck
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    GoodluckChuck Grateful Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    The biggest difference I've noticed between myself and others around me is perseverance.

    Most people seem to give up so easily while I refuse to give up.

    It's not just business. When I go into our storage room to find a ball pump and don't find it right away, it's not uncommon for me to have every single box out looking for it...

    Over the last few years I've developed a different idea of challenge. It empowers me now. When something doesn't work out right away I get excited. It's weird, honestly.

    I get a burst of energy to find that ball pump even though I don't even need it that bad. If I don't end up finding it and do decide to give up eventually, I feel a terrible despair.

    That's probably it. When I look back over the last 2 years I can count on 1 hand the things I gave up on before I succeeded.

    It's a magical thing too, because once you realize that you have this power, your confidence goes through the roof. When you know without a doubt that you are the type of person that will find a way to the finish line NO MATTER WHAT, you know that you will eventually get what you want.

    Then the matter becomes really figuring out what you want, but that's a WHOLE different topic.
     
    Roots, Roulf, Dameron and 14 others like this.

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