Our Story (How I Escaped My Day Job)

wedding dayIn February 2013, I was sitting at home with the flu. Two weeks earlier, I had been passed over for a promotion.

Sitting at home, alone with my thoughts and my fever, I decided it was time to quit.

But walking out the door would take another 12 weeks.

And reaching $10,000 per month in revenue would take another 8 months.

Here’s the story. I’ll keep it short and sweet.

For starters, I’m married to a really cute brunette and have a few kids.

We have one of the best marriages out there. Which is really weird because — while we had known each other for years and had done some long-distance chatting — we only dated for a couple of  months before eloping to get married.

The unlikely couple, in many respects.

She likes Words With Friends and DIY projects.  She refuses to touch a laptop.

I like the laptop, cycling, reading, travel and making money online. I have never played Words With Friends. Ever.

But we both enjoy canoeing and love our kids. So it works out.

Making Our Escape

a few months before we replaced our income with internet moneyIn November of 2010, I ran across Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel where he created a small site that earned $2,000- $3,000 per month.

It blew my mind. Here was a guy who used nothing but his typing fingers and a laptop to create a site that could almost replace my income!  And it was passive income, too!

I mean, he was making more wealth than most landlords! He achieved in 2 months what a real estate investor would have taken several years to achieve!

And so I began trying to replicate his success.

But it was rough. I didn’t fully understand the business model. And then I didn’t understand Google. Even after I got my first site up to $600 a month, Google came along and sat me back on my butt by removing my site from their rankings (and rightfully so — it was a spammy little thing).

Finally, after 2 years, I met Claire who was making $20,000 per month from Squidoo.

Squidoo has since closed, but at the time, it gave me a great place to work on my keyword research. I built over 300 “lenses” (articles) on that site and was soon making over $1,000 per month.

I felt like I had cracked the code.

 

Which brought us to February of 2013.  There I was with the flu, watching everything on  Alex Becker’s site  between bouts of nausea.

Before the day was over, I had meticulously planned how we could sell one of our cars, cash out the 401k and make-do for 9 months while I got the business off the ground.

The Future Is Closer Than You Think

The math will only get you so far. I knew that we had a 6 month runway of cash, but the transition was still scary.

Sometimes you just have to take a “leap of faith”.  A Parachute only works when you are falling towards your death.

Entrepreneurship is quite similar.

I was terrified that this escape wouldn’t last and that I would end up back at the call center.

A couple of days after deciding to quit, my wife and I were both offered part-time jobs.

Anytime I wasn’t at the bike shop I worked like a desperate madman. All-nighters were not uncommon.

The clock was ticking.

By December, our efforts had paid off, and within 1 year of leaving the call center, we had our first $10,000 month.

Even better, the sites can run on auto-pilot and continue to make 6 figures every year.

I do like to add new content every month, but we literally can get by with just 6-10 hours of work per month.

Passive Income Gives You Incredible Freedom

When our twins were born, one of them spent several days in NICU. I made the same amount of money sleeping in the hospital with our kid as if I had been working.

The other day I went for a bike ride. As I visited my old haunts, I realized that my dream had finally come true:  “I was riding my bike AND getting paid!” It wasn’t the “professional cyclist” route I had dreamed of in my youth, but I’ve got to say that the workload is less and the pay is better.

And, on any given day, I’ll wake up, send assignments to my assistants, and then spend the afternoon playing with the kids or volunteering. My goal is to have no major regrets. Already, my kids have enjoyed more “dad” in their lives than most kids have by the time they are 12 or 15 years old. Camping, fishing canoeing… we not only get to do these things but we get to do them while everyone else is in school or working (yes, we homeschool).

Life is about memories. And not worrying about the paycheck lets me focus on making the best memories possible.

Success Leaves Clues

As you can see from my story, there was no “getting rich quick”.

It was six years ago that I started my first blog.

Three years from my first blog to the day I quit my job.

Four years from my first blog to making six figures per year.

Most folks go to school for 6 years only to be saddled with a ton of debt, a 40-hour workweek and few job prospects.

So the journey was not unreasonable by any means.

It was worth it.

But if I had had someone to guide me along the way, I could have cut so much time off the journey.

Having a successful business model to replicate can shave so much time off of your entrepreneurial journey.  It’s why so many folks try MLM or buy a franchise. They know they can replicate success IF you have the right system.

And that is one of my primary goals of CubicleHoudini.com. To share the success stories of others. To show that you CAN have both quality time with your kids AND make a solid income.

Today

new office on the beachAs I type this, I’m sitting at my desk overlooking the ocean. You might say that we’re on an extended vacation. (Update! We moved back from the ocean to the Midwest in November of 2015)

I’m working a lot more than I used to. I’m going to take a couple of years and try to help a few folks escape their cubicles.

And I’d like to build up a few more sites and then sell them for 2-4x their yearly profit and retire a millionaire in the next couple of years.

So I get up in the morning,  go for a swim, fix breakfast and then spend about 6 hours working.

About 2 pm I knock off and we go hunt for shells or catch a local festival.

I get to see my kids grow up and have more time for the wife.

It’s the life we’ve all dreamed of, and I truly hope that by the time 2016 rolls around, I will have helped 5 more folks achieve it. (Let me know if I succeed!)

 

If you are interested in replicating my success, I’ve boiled my 4-year journey down into course that is 60, 1-hour long segments. (Super simple…If you can log into Facebook you can do this). If you are ready to escape your day job,  Click here to try the course for $1

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