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Grinding away, Dropping out, and Overcoming Comfort


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Feb 18, 2018
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Hello, everyone.

I am 19 years old, in the SEO industry, a Linux geek, and have a large passion for programming.

It all started in early 2014. I hated school and the path I was set on. Having to get on that prison bus every day and be forced to absorb subjects that did not inspire me was a hell.

Walking into that school, you see a swarm of people, slaves to the bells, waiting to go to their first class like obedient students.

The process of memorizing a bunch of disconnected thoughts that only provide a surface-level knowledge of the subject and having to regurgitate that information on a stapled, 3-5 page test drained me.

It's not that I dislike learning - I love it. At around the age of 11 or 12, I taught myself the Java programming language and got into game development. Some of the syntax and ways to accomplish simple things such as opening a blank window was so complex for me, but I wasn't deterred. I would print out source-code and hang it on my wall - carefully studying everything about it, getting inside the minds of the programmers who created the language.

The idea of starting a business never occurred to me for a long time. My career path ideas took a Benjamin Button approach compared to most people. I never remember wanting to become an astronaut or race car driver. The first thing I wanted to be was someone who worked in finance. My dad worked IT and had clients for investment firms and I would always hear about the big numbers they worked with. I wanted to be rich and thought that was the best way to go. After that, I recall wanting to be an engineer as I explored the topic of circuitry. As much as I respect the show, King of the Hill, it had a bad effect on me for a while and inspired me to go after a normal job and a small house.

So, my career ideas started to get more passion based and a little more crazy. When I got into Java, I wanted to be like Notch, the creator of Minecraft and create the next popular open-world sandbox game. 2013-ish I got into electronic music and wanted to become a DJ/producer like Skrillex, Avicii, Martin Garrix, Calvin Harris, you name it.

And now we're back in 2014.

I can't remember exactly how, but I came across the idea of passive income and Pat Flynn's blog. I mentioned it a little bit to my dad and he did mention that he heard about the concept. There was one thing he said that really set me into gear. "You have a lot of free time now. It would be a great time to set something like that up." That made me realize that there was nothing holding me back. There is no age discrimination to starting a business online and I already had the most crucial thing: A debit card and bank account with around a hundred bucks in it.

My disdain of the education system grew and grew. I had something that pre-00s' kids didn't have. Access an internet that is so large and full of thoughts and information. I discovered the work of John Taylor Gatto - a man who has broken down the dark history of American education, Glendon Cameron - who has taught me invaluable mindset lessons, Grant Cardone - who destroys myths believed by the middle class, Gary Vaynerchuk - who teaches the value of hard work and is not afraid to share his dislike of the education system. MJ DeMarco would've been on that list but unfortunately, I didn't come across him until later in my journey.

I was set on making a living before my senior year of high school. No plan B. I was also set on dropping out of school. While a controversial decision, I knew it was the right choice for me. I want my legacy to be of changing the school system and saving future generations of kids from mindless, unpassionate boredom.

The magic number for me was $4,000 a month. If I can make that, I make a decent living that I can grow upon, creating more ambitious ventures while having this passive income stream helping me out.

What I decided to do was create a niche website on my current - at the time - passion, music production. September 2014, my music production website was born.

I diligently followed through this niche site playlist on YouTube created by a guy named Nathaniel Brenes. It's outdated by today's standards but it got the ball rolling. I joined this membership program called Wealthy Affiliate. It cost me roughly $40 a month and I had to sell random possessions of mine on eBay to be able to keep paying - Including video games which I decided was not a productive activity for me anymore.

I can no longer recommend Wealthy Affiliate after very sketchy support failing to refund me - and then ignoring my emails - for a $300 yearly plan I got billed for out of the blue but I have to give credit where credit is due.

I always asked the founders of the membership questions and asked for feedback and they always gave me great answers that steered me in the right direction. I wouldn't have made it anywhere if I had a know-it-all attitude and went with what I thought is right rather than asking them for feedback.

The site was a blog with informative content and "money content" (articles that are monetized through affiliate links). You come to the site, learn about different music production tips, and then can read a buyer's guide of mine to help you make a purchase.

I have NEVER experienced such a drive in my life and struggle to replicate the determination I had from 2014 to 2016. Every day I would spend the whole day writing 1,000 to 4,000 words of content, interacting like a madman in forums, reading and studying the industry.

It was a beautiful show of drive and determination thinking back on the time, but it was far from fun in the moment. There was the stress of wondering if I was in the wrong industry or blogging about un-profitable topics. There were constant gurus talking about new hot ways to make money "Amazon FBA, dropshipping, e-commerce, make digital products, create ads!"

I was drained from school and I'm sure a lot of introverts can relate to that feeling. I'd be so tired feeling like I was going to pass out but I kept writing and writing. Even if the topic was mind-numbingly boring. I knew exactly what I needed to get done and I did it.

Grinding and grinding and grinding I began to get results. $100 a month, $300. It got exciting when I was in the thousands. $1,000, $2,000, we're almost there!

At around the point I hit my initial goal, I was ready to drop out. I had an asset and have gained marketable skills in both SEO and web design/development. I knew how to sell myself and standout if things were ever to collapse and was willing to do whatever it takes.

I don't wish to dive too much into the struggle of the process to dropout below the age of 18 (Or was it 17?) in my state, but I can say it was a whole lot of guidance counselor meetings and hard-to-have conversations with parents. I can say that the guidance counselor was a great one, on my side in the end and was supportive of the decision.

On the same day I dropped out, it was the same day I launched my eBook. It was a technical book about circuitry, programming, and building electronic instruments that work with your computer. The launch of the book was a success, making $3,000 in the first week. I remember opening my laptop to show the principal what I was working on and if my memory serves correctly, since the launch email sent out to people on the waiting list, I had already made $1,500 in that one day alone.

2016 was the year I dropped out and now it is 2018. I've had successes and failures since then. I started a new site about veganism and it has had steady growth. I have had nice returns on my Bitcoin investments and got into Ethereum when it was $10 and sold at $1,000, making around $11k. I even won an Ethereum bet on the US election, which was only for $100 but of course, multiplied when the Ethereum price hit $1,000. I still hold crypto assets although I definitely need to pay closer attention to the industry.

There has been one major hiccup and one major problem I've been trying to overcome. Google hit my music production site hard. Did I use sketchy tactics? Nope. I didn't do any sort of link building, but the standard for quality has changed and I am still working to fix that. I am confident of a recovery though. Major overhauls have been underway and my site will rise higher than it has ever been. If MJ spent that extra marketing dollar, maybe I would've come across him and learned about Fastlane business rule #3 earlier! Control! (/s) I was very aware that Google could flip a switch and cut off a large portion of my income and that is why I was branching out into different things, creating a digital product, learning about cryptocurrency, etc.

My main problem in the last 2 years. Comfort. I feel so safe with my decently-sized nest egg. It's been hard to get that same level of work ethic I had during the "struggle years". There's not that urgency of "If you don't make $4k a month in the next x years, you're F*cked." There's not that everyday reminder, going to school and seeing a flood of people who are going to achieve cookie-cutter lives and teachers who think your success depends on passing their class.

In the past few months especially, I have made a lot of progress in getting more accomplished in the day. I've cut out unimportant tasks in my business, got a hold on my TODO management thanks to Getting Things Done, and have even used my coding skills to create tools and processes to help me accomplish my SEO goals in a way that nobody else is doing in the industry.

Hope to learn a lot from you all. Cheers to success.
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Niptuck MD

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Aug 31, 2016
Good wordy intro post;

welcome to the forum; seems like you experimented with several realms, but now maybe you need to pick one that you are going to focus on perfecting and for the long haul; there will be no comfort along the way; get used to it

best of luck

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