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INTRO Hello! My FTE and why I'm here

therealmark

Bronze Contributor
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Dec 27, 2017
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Hello Fastlaners!

I’ve been lurking on this forum for a couple years now. I figured it was finally time to introduce myself.

First I want to thank you MJ for writing down your experiences into two books that have changed countless lives, mine included.

I thought a great way to introduce myself would be to share my FTE with the forum.

My FTE:
Eight years ago I was fresh out of college. I didn't want to get a regular job so I decided it was time to start my own business. I loved programming websites so I thought I would create a web development company. I went from business to business selling my services. Some even signed up. I thought I had made it. I was in business for real now.

Things quickly went downhill from there. I had over promised and under charged. I couldn’t keep up with expectations. The only way to keep paying bills was to sell more websites. But spending all day trying to sell websites meant that I couldn’t do the work I had promised people.

I burned out fast. I started losing clients and the business started failing. Rather than reflecting on my failure I picked up the next idea I had and started pushing forward.

I decided I was going to start a magazine. I went all around the city selling ads to local businesses. People were buying ads. I was making money. The only problem was I needed that money to pay my bills.

I sold enough ads to put the magazine together. I found a company to print and ship the magazine. The only issue was I couldn’t afford to print or ship the magazine.

I sold everything I owned, including my car to come up with the money and I shipped the magazine. It was a failure. Barely any of the businesses received any customers from the advertisements. Only two customers even signed up for the next issue.

I was now beyond broke and I had no income. I purchased a POS car for $200.00 to get around. By this time It had been two years of constant failure. Every month barely coming up with the money to eat let alone pay my bills. I was behind on every bill. I had no money and I was running out of ideas to make money.

I had 20.00 to my name. I decided I would travel to the city and try to sell something. A website, a magazine ad, it didn’t matter. I needed to make money. I put 10.00 of gas in my new rust bucket of a car and headed to the city. I was going to sell something to someone that day.

I spent all day going from business to business trying to make a sale. At the end of the day I had no sale and only 10.00 to my name.

As I drove home I felt nothing but disgust. How did I get to this point. This wasn’t how things were supposed to work. I had to go home and face my wife for another day knowing I had accomplished nothing that day but spend half of the little money we had.

Driving down the highway in utter depression I heard an explosion. The front tire of my rust bucket blew out. At that moment I made yet another terrible decision. I couldn’t afford a tire let alone a tow. I decided to just keep driving. I was 20 miles from home. Cars were honking. They were following me with hazards. People passed me yelling. I just kept driving. Sparks were flying from the bottom of the car. The flap of rubber that used to be a tire flew off the car onto the highway. I was now driving on the rim. The sound of metal on the highway haunts me to this day.

About two miles from my house a cop pulled behind me and turned on his lights. I thought Oh my god this is it! My life is over! Rather then pull over I doubled down and kept on driving. I drove two more miles on the rim with a cop behind me. As I pulled into the driveway the cop jumped out of his car and started yelling at me. I got out of my car with my hands up and just started talking. I told the cop everything that had happened to me and why I didn’t stop. For some reason, I’ll never understand why, he stopped yelling. He gave me a huge lecture about how insanely idiotic my actions were and how I could have killed someone. After explaining to me the gravity of my actions: driving with no tire and running from the police he left me there standing in the driveway. No ticket. No warning. He got in his car and left.

I stood there in the driveway. I was half relieved I wasn’t on my way to jail but half wishing he would have just taken me in. I had nothing. My car was broken. I was about to get kicked out of my house for not paying rent. I had bills piling up. This was the bottom of the bottom.

I couldn’t understand it. I worked so hard every day trying to make money. I just started crying. I probably stood there for over an hour in tears. I had sold everything I owned. I went into debt thousands chasing money. I literally could not afford to continue. I had no transportation and just enough money for a couple days of food. It was all over.

That was my FTE. It wasn’t that I hated working for someone else. It wasn’t that I hated my job. My FTE was that I had put myself and my family in a position where we could not survive. I thought that if I just tried hard enough it would work out. If I just sold enough ads or websites I would make money. I had read about all of these success stories and it seemed so simple.

At that moment I realized that my entire thought process was screwed up. I had been going about this in the worst way. I had risked everything on a dream and failed miserably.

I didn’t know how I was ever going to crawl out of that situation. I promised myself at that moment I would never put myself and my family in this situation ever again.

That night I decided I had to get a job. I called my sister and told her my story. She sent me a few hundred dollars to get my car fixed and to help us out while I looked for work.

I found work within a couple days. I got caught up on my debt. The rest is history.

Fast forward to now.
Today I own a successful web development company. I have a team of full time employees and a bunch of amazing clients. I call the business successful not because I never have to work again. On the contrary, I work a lot. I'm successful because I get to build awesome applications for amazing people and I make more money than I ever dreamed possible.

Of course my goals are ever moving and after achieving this level of success I have even bigger dreams.

What happened in those six years is a books worth of events. This post is just a chapter of the story.

The details of those next six years doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I changed my attitude from making money to helping people. Once I realized that the goal is not to make money but to help as many people as you can the world changed for me.

Before I could help anyone I had to take care of myself first. If I couldn’t help myself I was not in any position to help others.

I wanted to share this FTE with everyone. Hopefully it might resonate with one of you and help in your current situation.

If I knew then what I know now I would not have made the same mistakes. But then I would not have experienced such a life changing FTE. An event that I think about every single day. A FTE that has driven me to this level of success and will continue to drive me to achieve greater and greater goals.

It’s nice to meet all of you and I look forward to learning and mentoring on this forum
- Mark
 

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MikeS

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This has left me speechless... These events show your true personality. There is nothing more powerful than knowing you are on the verge of losing everything, disappointing everyone and putting your family in danger. Many people would give up at these moments, and some would even commit suicide. You didn't.

Today you have inspired someone.
Thank you and welcome aboard!
 
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therealmark

therealmark

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 27, 2017
59
139
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37
Spokane WA
This has left me speechless... These events show your true personality. There is nothing more powerful than knowing you are on the verge of losing everything, disappointing everyone and putting your family in danger. Many people would give up at these moments, and some would even commit suicide. You didn't.

Today you have inspired someone.
Thank you and welcome aboard!
Thank you very much for reading my long intro. Years later I am grateful to my experience. It helped shape me. I make sure to never forget those moments as they help push me everyday.
 

Rabby

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I love this! The early experience was painful, but your grit shows right through it, Mark. I think you found gold too -- when you can help the customer get what they want, they're happy to trade for what you want, within reason. I hope it gets even better for you!
 

Out of Touch

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Jul 9, 2018
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The most inspiring success stories are those that began at rock bottom. I really appreciate you opening yourself up and sharing what you went through. Your story blew me away and I'm so happy that you found the success you deserved by helping others.
All the best in future endeavors!
I call the business successful not because I never have to work again. On the contrary, I work a lot. I'm successful because I get to build awesome applications for amazing people and I make more money than I ever dreamed possible.
It seems as if you have found a passion for what you're currently doing. But are you ever going to try to meet the Commandment of Time?
 
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therealmark

therealmark

Bronze Contributor
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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 27, 2017
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Spokane WA
It seems as if you have found a passion for what you're currently doing. But are you ever going to try to meet the Commandment of Time?
This is a huge challenge in my current business. I'm working my way there. I may start a progress thread as this year my main focus has been detachment and physicality.

I make money whether I work or not but that is not sustainable for long periods of time. I am still a business operator. I'm working to invest in the right people to further detach myself.
 

Rabby

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I make money whether I work or not but that is not sustainable for long periods of time. I am still a business operator. I'm working to invest in the right people to further detach myself.
This is really hard when you're figuring it out, but really worth it. I remember going to my CPA and asking him to double check numbers. I was like, "am I going to have to fire the guy or starve my family if I do this?" I made at least 2 completely worthless hires while trying to offload work - my mistake with both was letting them work for me for more than, say, two weeks without reducing my workload. When I hired a different someone for a lot more money, but someone who I knew was really good, it was immediate relief. I wondered what the heck to do with myself. That's a sign that you hired the right kind of person, I think :)
 

Ashish Kulkarni

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Just came back to this thread to say it has kept me inspired. Thanks again for sharing it.
 

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Merging Left

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Amazing story, thank you for sharing. How long after you "caved in" and got a job did you get back on the horse and start hustling?

Most people would have given up on the dreams of owning a business long before you admitted you need a job, and even less would have had the strength to have another go at it! Good for you, very inspiring.
 
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therealmark

therealmark

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 27, 2017
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Spokane WA
Amazing story, thank you for sharing. How long after you "caved in" and got a job did you get back on the horse and start hustling?
I guess I did "cave in" to the reality. That's a good way of thinking about it.
I never stopped the hustle. The main reason I didn't get a job in the first place was I believed my own lie. I thought I needed to spend all day working and trying to sell. If I had a full time job then how would I build my business?

I just moved my hustling to before and after my day job. I kept a day job for four years while I learned and built my business. I didn't quite working for someone else until my business had grown to the point that my job was going to be a real obstacle to growth.

Over those four years I chose jobs that would provide me an education into owning and operating a business. It was never about the salary. The goal for me was to provide for my family, study how successful businesses operates and apply those lessons to my own business.
 

Gepi

In it to win it
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Jul 3, 2018
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Hey dear therealmark,
that read like a damn good story, and I think you should write a book about it.
Congratulations on turning your life around. This is really a powerful message.
If you work on your attitude, on your decision making and on doing the right thing, magical things
happen. But then, it is really just cause and effect. Gotta love it.
Keep it up.
Best wishes,
Gepi
 

MJ DeMarco

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FN incredible introduction, almost missed it!

Welcome to the board my friend. So awesome to hear the working-success story.
 

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