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GOLD! Intro, AMA, and a Recent Sale for $6M of InvestorJunkie.com

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lludwig

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Along with MJ books, I've enjoyed a lot lately How to get rich from Felix Dennis. A very honest book imo that has given me a new perspective on the pursuit of riches (and the perils of it).
Yes I read that book. Great book but not exactly a guy I want to follow (since he's dead).

Though his best quote is: "If it flies, floats, or F*cks... rent it".
 

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@lludwig if it's ok to ask - how did you acquire those big name clients in your hosting business?
 
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lludwig

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@lludwig if it's ok to ask - how did you acquire those big name clients in your hosting business?
Great question. Word of mouth and been developing websites for many Fortune 500 companies, for the firms I worked for since 1994.

I don't think I would be able to acquire those same clients today. Too much competition and not enough respect and understanding of quality work in that space.
 
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Philip Marlowe

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So I figured I would create one myself and named it Investor Junkie. So while somewhat self-serving also had plenty of experience to talk about investing.
This is an important quote for all those people who get "impostor syndrome". You weren't a hedge fund manager or VP of a global bank, but rather it would appear you were great at connecting with people and had real-world personal investment experience.

I only say this because it took me about a year to get over my own fear of thinking I couldn't talk about a subject I actually knew better than most.

Congrats!
 

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Bottom line, debt-based businesses generate more revenue than investment based.
A peer to peer lending website such as Prosper or Lending Club, would you consider them to be a debt-based business? Or maybe hybrid?
 
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lludwig

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A peer to peer lending website such as Prosper or Lending Club, would you consider them to be a debt-based business? Or maybe hybrid?
Great example!

Debt since that is how they make their money. They really don't make money from investors like myself other than connecting the borrower.

From the affiliate side the payouts were 4x better for the debt and always cultivated websites. Where the investor side they really ignored and had enough interest.
 

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Great example!

Debt since that is how they make their money. They really don't make money from investors like myself other than connecting the borrower.

From the affiliate side the payouts were 4x better for the debt and always cultivated websites. Where the investor side they really ignored and had enough interest.
I didn't know that Prosper/Lending Club didn't charge a fee to investors.

In Mexico, the peer to peer lending websites also charge investors a % fee on the interest (1% - 2% is the average I would say) returned and in case the loan went delinquent a % fee for recovery.
 
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lludwig

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I didn't know that Prosper/Lending Club didn't charge a fee to investors.

In Mexico, the peer to peer lending websites also charge investors a % fee on the interest (1% - 2% is the average I would say) returned and in case the loan went delinquent a % fee for recovery.
No they do but only %1/annually to the investors. They make most of their income in the loan origination.
 

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Very interesting story. Highly reminiscent of mine. Your Fundrise review page is awesome.

Curious if you would provide some feedback on my new site. I started it before I sold my last one so I was able to do a carve out some exclusions in the non-compete (2 years just like yours).
 

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lludwig

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Very interesting story. Highly reminiscent of mine. Your Fundrise review page is awesome.

Curious if you would provide some feedback on my new site. I started it before I sold my last one so I was able to do a carve out some exclusions in the non-compete (2 years just like yours).
Sure PM me if you don't want to to be known.
 

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Hey MJ,

I could technically retire with this sale and my existing assets already, but entrepreneurship is like a disease and plan on never formally retiring. I like to think businesses are the adult version of LEGO. I've realized I'm great at being the visionary and I do execute well, but don't like when a business becomes mundane and needs much more people (sort of what your situation was). Having loads of employees sucks.....

My plans so far...
  • Six months of transition with the website.
  • My hosting business still exists and putting that on the selling block. Originally was going to in 2008 but decided to just let it ride. Hosting businesses have horrible multiples (1x TTM revenues) and decided to just let slowly die was the best approach. Now I never want to see it again! And want to clear house and start from scratch.
  • Shut down my existing company (for legal and legacy reasons)
  • Create a new company (even if it's not final on what I have plan to do next) so I can at least have a biz entity to work from and for legal and tax reasons.
  • Re-read your two books, plus other business books to get some new ideas (if anyone has suggestions of other books for biz ideas let me know).
  • I have a 2 year non-compete and think there's still some things can be executed better in the personal finance space, but must wait till the 2 year period. So it's gonna be hard for anything related to the personal finance space for now. I'll have to work on other verticals.
  • Create a personal brand. This was perhaps my biggest mistake in creating the Investor Junkie brand. I focused on the business brand yet didn't build my personal brand at the same time.
  • Take six months off (If I make it that long :)) after the six-month contract with the aquiring firm.
  • Buy some domain names (already doing this) for some ideas I have.
  • Focus on a plan to generate income from my liquidity event and other existing assets for my "paycheck pot" as you call it.
I have some specific new biz ideas but don't want to discuss them yet. I don't think they are fully jelled and don't want to publicly commit on a forum these ideas. At least not yet.

I also may not want do any of them and go off in a completely different direction. Not sure yet and that is my dilemma (yea I know first world problems).

The question I have for you MJ and others in my situation is what did you do next?

Since you obviously went through this period MJ you have the unique privilege as well.

Did you have a period of unknowing what you wanted to do next? Or did you know that this site and books were always in the cards?

I joined this site to at least seek other like-minded individuals and see what ideas others are working on to help perhaps stir my creative juices as well.

Also I have loads of online experience, investment experience and a talent stack of writing, tech guru, SEO, SEM, and affiliate marketing. Seeing if I could help anyone who needs help in those areas.

Thanks.
Congrats to you and beautiful car!

I'm very happy to see you've got the bug. I never understood the mindset of an entrepreneur combined with a traditional retirement.

"Shut it all down and sell everything.... it's time to live on savings until I die..." No thanks.

Great to have you here and looking forward to reading your posts as you take this journey further.
 

MJ DeMarco

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"Shut it all down and sell everything.... it's time to live on savings until I die..." No thanks.
That's not really the point of an Unscripted life. It's about freedom and expressing yourself without the constraint of money.

I consider myself semi-retired but haven't sold anything and certainly don't live a frugal lifestyle. My lifestyle hasn't changed, if anything, it has elevated. Retired (in a UNSCRIPTED sense, not the "live cheap" aspect) is simply the opportunity to do whatever you want, without having to worry about money, or market viability. For me that was writing which actually doesn't cost a lot of money (as a passion) and has the opportunity to make $$. If my passion was something more expensive, I probably wouldn't be running a forum and writing fifteen dollar books.

I don't think I would be able to acquire those same clients today. Too much competition and not enough respect and understanding of quality work in that space.
Not sure about that, the website is VERY WELL DONE. Congrats to you.

Oh yea, and thank you for the plug here:

The Best Finance Books for Investors and Entrepreneurs
 
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lludwig

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Larry,

I see you work with Bankrate. I've been a partner of theirs since 2011. Did you ever attend any of their affiliate conferences at The Breakers?

If so, we have likely met or crossed paths several times.

At the one a few years ago (where they had just acquired Caring.com for 50MM+), they spoke for a while about the senior living and senior care sector and why it is going to be a huge boom moving forward (baby boomers getting old, etc.)

I've often thought about doing a site in that niche. Money to be made for sure in the same model.
 
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lludwig

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Larry,

I see you work with Bankrate. I've been a partner of theirs since 2011. Did you ever attend any of their affiliate conferences at The Breakers?

If so, we have likely met or crossed paths several times.

At the one a few years ago (where they had just acquired Caring.com for 50MM+), they spoke for a while about the senior living and senior care sector and why it is going to be a huge boom moving forward (baby boomers getting old, etc.)

I've often thought about doing a site in that niche. Money to be made for sure in the same model.
Actually just started working with them soon before I sold. I never went to their conferences.

Bankrate is a shell of what it used to be. NerdWallet ate their lunch in the online space. Bankrate certainly has had a few M&A misteps (cough Bankaholic for $15M in 2008). I think with Red Ventures acquiring Bankrate is a good thing.

Retirement and seniors is a HUGE area to focus on and have it on my list of ideas.
 

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Actually just started working with them soon before I sold. I never went to their conferences.

Bankrate is a shell of what it used to be. NerdWallet ate their lunch in the online space. Bankrate certainly has had a few M&A misteps (cough Bankaholic for $15M in 2008). I think with Red Ventures acquiring Bankrate is a good thing.

Retirement and seniors is a HUGE area to focus on and have it on my list of ideas.
Yeah, they use to be HUGE in the space and have since changed models. Most of the people I worked closely with and became friends with left or were replaced.

Those conferences were a blast though. Too bad you didn't see them in their hay day.
 

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That's not really the point of an Unscripted life. It's about freedom and expressing yourself without the constraint of money.

I consider myself semi-retired but haven't sold anything and certainly don't live a frugal lifestyle. My lifestyle hasn't changed, if anything, it has elevated. Retired (in a UNSCRIPTED sense, not the "live cheap" aspect) is simply the opportunity to do whatever you want, without having to worry about money, or market viability. For me that was writing which actually doesn't cost a lot of money (as a passion) and has the opportunity to make $$. If my passion was something more expensive, I probably wouldn't be running a forum and writing fifteen dollar books.
Totally understood and agree completely. I absolutely know you still have your hand in these things. That was kind of my point. You are not traditionally retired where you downsize your life and live off savings.

There is, however, a faction of the entrepreneur community that still looks toward a scripted retirement of "sell everything, shut it down and live of savings." I know a few like that. That to me is an unfortunate path to choose.

Passivity is really the key on that. Build a business where you can replace yourself and still grow. Own enough real estate by then that 6 or 7 figures roll in annually. Thing's like that.
 

garyfritz

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There is, however, a faction of the entrepreneur community that still looks toward a scripted retirement of "sell everything, shut it down and live of savings." I know a few like that. That to me is an unfortunate path to choose.
I think it depends on your motivation. Did you start your business, do you keep running your business, to make money to pay the bills? Well then it's a job. You probably want to quit it just like you would with any job you don't care about. Retirement sounds like heaven, even though you probably won't have as much money as you'd like.

But if you launched businesses because you can't NOT create them, that's not a job. That's a passion. (Maybe an obsession, LOL) You're not going to stop feeding your passion just because you don't need the money any more.

I had a passion business about 20 years ago. Worked on it until 1-2am most nights, for a couple of years. Built it up until I was ***this close*** to a huge payout, and then the world changed and the whole thing imploded. Never managed to re-create the business success, and sadly I never managed to re-create the passion either. So the work I've done since then, while self-employed and nicely profitable, is basically a job. I do it to pay the bills. I'd much rather be passionate about what I'm doing, but I don't know how to put the lightning back in the bottle.
 

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Kak

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I think it depends on your motivation. Did you start your business, do you keep running your business, to make money to pay the bills? Well then it's a job. You probably want to quit it just like you would with any job you don't care about. Retirement sounds like heaven, even though you probably won't have as much money as you'd like.

But if you launched businesses because you can't NOT create them, that's not a job. That's a passion. (Maybe an obsession, LOL) You're not going to stop feeding your passion just because you don't need the money any more.

I had a passion business about 20 years ago. Worked on it until 1-2am most nights, for a couple of years. Built it up until I was ***this close*** to a huge payout, and then the world changed and the whole thing imploded. Never managed to re-create the business success, and sadly I never managed to re-create the passion either. So the work I've done since then, while self-employed and nicely profitable, is basically a job. I do it to pay the bills. I'd much rather be passionate about what I'm doing, but I don't know how to put the lightning back in the bottle.
Gary, I just want to encourage you. I have always been tuned in to your posts over the years and highly respect what you have to say on a number of topics. Despite what you may think of yourself, I truly believe you’ve still got it! You have the lightning, it’s in the bottle, use it or don’t. I hope you do.
 

DakineBMH

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Hey MJ,

I could technically retire with this sale and my existing assets already, but entrepreneurship is like a disease and plan on never formally retiring. I like to think businesses are the adult version of LEGO. I've realized I'm great at being the visionary and I do execute well, but don't like when a business becomes mundane and needs much more people (sort of what your situation was). Having loads of employees sucks.....

My plans so far...
  • Six months of transition with the website.
  • My hosting business still exists and putting that on the selling block. Originally was going to in 2008 but decided to just let it ride. Hosting businesses have horrible multiples (1x TTM revenues) and decided to just let slowly die was the best approach. Now I never want to see it again! And want to clear house and start from scratch.
  • Shut down my existing company (for legal and legacy reasons)
  • Create a new company (even if it's not final on what I have plan to do next) so I can at least have a biz entity to work from and for legal and tax reasons.
  • Re-read your two books, plus other business books to get some new ideas (if anyone has suggestions of other books for biz ideas let me know).
  • I have a non-compete and think there's still some things can be executed better in the personal finance space, but must wait till it's over. So it's gonna be hard for anything related to the personal finance space for now. I'll have to work on other verticals.
  • Create a personal brand. This was perhaps my biggest mistake in creating the Investor Junkie brand. I focused on the business brand yet didn't build my personal brand at the same time.
  • Take six months off (If I make it that long :)) after the six-month contract with the aquiring firm.
  • Buy some domain names (already doing this) for some ideas I have.
  • Focus on a plan to generate income from my liquidity event and other existing assets for my "paycheck pot" as you call it.
I have some specific new biz ideas but don't want to discuss them yet. I don't think they are fully jelled and don't want to publicly commit on a forum these ideas. At least not yet.

I also may not want do any of them and go off in a completely different direction. Not sure yet and that is my dilemma (yea I know first world problems).

The question I have for you MJ and others in my situation is what did you do next?

Since you obviously went through this period MJ you have the unique privilege as well.

Did you have a period of unknowing what you wanted to do next? Or did you know that this site and books were always in the cards?

I joined this site to at least seek other like-minded individuals and see what ideas others are working on to help perhaps stir my creative juices as well.

Also I have loads of online experience, investment experience and a talent stack of writing, tech guru, SEO, SEM, and affiliate marketing. Seeing if I could help anyone who needs help in those areas.

Thanks.
 

fizzteemo

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Wow, you're my hero! Seriously, I love Thought Catalog and tried (for years) to find a WP theme similar to it! Unfortunately, I couldn't find one. I checked the source and it wasn't a WP site - which was a bummer. Anyways, thanks for sharing!
 
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marklov

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How open would you say the Debt market is for disruption.

I've never ventured into Personal Finance, could you peel back the curtain a bit, ofcourse without exposing any opportunities you might be looking at for yourself.
 

Tiago

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I don't really know what I want next is the biggest question. I still need some soul searching on this. I haven't seen a problem that I want to solve. What I'm trying to do more of is forget about any real or preconceived limits I may think I have.

"What problem could I solve if I had no limits?" Is the question I keep asking.

It isn't so much the money other than keeping score. I mean I've even considered maybe I'll get some VC and using someone else's money to build something much bigger than I could do myself. But would I be happy? I don't know as on one hand, it would be challenging. Yet I would get more into operations would have to deal with more employees.
This book might be able to help you upgrade your questions and find what you really, really, really want to do.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062102419/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20
 

GatsbyMag

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@lludwig

I can't relate to your current situation. But from what I've seen, a lot of successful entrepreneurs around me have lost their personalities on their pursuit to wealth. I notice that once those entrepreneurs have retaken an old hobby or started pursuing something that meaningfully impacts society, their eyes light up again. I hope that helps in some way.

As CEO of InvestorJunkie I presume you received a lot of cold emails, calls, InMails etc. requesting for your business. I'm a young salesman and I'm interested in hearing about what kind of cold outreaches got your attention. Did the messaging tend to be short and to the point? Did they address an immediate or potential problem your business might face? Were the subject lines catchy or formal?

Or is it too difficult to say what kind of messaging got your attention because it varied so greatly?
 
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lludwig

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@lludwig

As CEO of InvestorJunkie I presume you received a lot of cold emails, calls, InMails etc. requesting for your business. I'm a young salesman and I'm interested in hearing about what kind of cold outreaches got your attention. Did the messaging tend to be short and to the point? Did they address an immediate or potential problem your business might face? Were the subject lines catchy or formal?

Or is it too difficult to say what kind of messaging got your attention because it varied so greatly?
Most were ignored and went into the bit bucket. Why? because they are now automated web form submission systems.

You have to be offering something of value before asking for something is my suggestion.
 
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lludwig

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GatsbyMag

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Most were ignored and went into the bit bucket. Why? because they are now automated web form submission systems.

You have to be offering something of value before asking for something is my suggestion.
lludwig please re-read my initial message, I made an edit (briefly after posting my original message) that you may find useful.

Also, as a CEO what is something that you'd consider to be valuable? A summary of your competitors' weaknesses? A personal story of my experience as an InvestorJunkie user along with suggestions on how my experience can be improved? A case study of how my business helped another business/competitor?

Do you recall any memories when someone made you go "Wow! That was actually valuable, he's got my attention"?

Thank you
 

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