Hard Work: Lessons Learned Getting From There To Here

RomesFall

so po qwo ro
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#1
I joined this forum back when it started, and back then I was nowhere near I am right now.

At the time I was still just 24 years old, and I'd been in the IM game for about three years already. I started from the very bottom, literally. I was technically homeless at the age of 21, sleeping on friends couches. The economic recession was still hitting my local area hard. No jobs, no prospects unless you could drive 30 minutes to the nearest City. If you were like me and left education right when the recession hit in 2008 and didn't have a good family unit you couldn't even get a job to get the lessons, let alone take the test, then buy and run a car.

It was some depressing shit.

I did have some skills though. I'd been coding since I was 14, and honestly I always told myself I wasn't good enough to do it for money.

That was a load of bullshit.

Desperate times led me to start taking jobs on oDesk. It didn't take long and my whole outlook on the world changed. I had enough money to get into a flat. There were times where I struggled to get clients, especially after everyone started catching up to responsive design. I made good money making peoples sites responsive.

Fast forward another 12 months and I was already taking my tender steps in SEO. I had a few SEO clients, and I was getting good results. Mostly really low-ticket clients though. $500/mo which after fees, taxes and currency conversion wasn't really getting me very far even with 4-6 clients at a time. There was definitely not the money there to invest in my own projects.

I started a blog, which I didn't really want to do (not comfortable being a guru type) but it helped me meet a few guys and generated some decent clients. I got my first taste of national SEO and then international. I wasn't building sites at all anymore for dollar.

I was working a lot, but like I said I had some issues with productivity. I was still hanging out with a bad crowd. Spent a lot of time on games and just had a bad attitude.

Over time things did change, thanks to me signing up on here circa 2014. I listened to guys like @CCarter, @Ryuzaki, @Kevin, @SmokeTree and other guys I know off of the forum. They called me out on my shit. Shared their ideas, experience. A lot of that is available to anyone here on the forum.

- I stopped hanging out with the wrong people
- I stopped wasting my time on games
- I learned to not let fear rule me

This resulted in some big improvements, namely flipping a bunch of affiliate sites that gave me enough money to work on the next project and ditch client work.

I fucked up though. I still wasn't working hard enough, not even close. Que 1,000 excuses I told myself at the time. I wasn't willing to take full responsibility for my success. I ran out of cash in 2016 and needed to get back into client work to support myself. So I formed a partnership with @Charles Floate who I knew from my blogging days. We worked together for about 2 years on an eCommerce SEO Agency.

This is where I learned the value of hard work.

I was working 8 hours a day, 7 days a week on the ecommerce agency. I then would stick 4 hours into my affiliate sites, learning, testing.

I would go out maybe four times a year, I was a hermit. I left all my old friends behind completely. I took a total of 2 weeks off in 2 years for sickness, christmas and my birthdays. That was it. I even stopped posting on here for a huge amount of time.

I didn't give a shit what it took, something had clicked in my mind.

- I used to flit from project to project
- I used to work on multiple sites
- I used to make excuses for why I couldn't do this or that
- I used to constantly compare myself and my progress to everyone else

None of that was an issue anymore. I found something I wanted to work on after over a year of just doing agency work, and I stuck to it. I wrote 45 articles in a month. Over 50,000 words of content.

I focused my limited time on that one site, I wasn't making excuses for why I couldn't write the damn articles when I couldn't find a writer. I knew my site needed articles in order to grow so I just fucking did it.

I gave you a background on this post so you know that everything is relative, my progress isn't comparable to yours or anyone elses. I had progressed steadily, messed up here and there for sure.

Where I'm at now, is that I have an attitude of no excuses... I've left the agency after agreeing a buyout fee with Charles so I can focus more time on what I'm passionate about which is my site and building successful sites in general. I know that it's a risk, but I'm not going to make the same mistakes as last time. I'm still publishing content, I'm still building links and not just buying them all like most SEOs do now.

My point is I started off with nothing in the bank, in a shed load of debt... I'm now pretty damn comfortable making around $6,000/mo passively from old projects, the existing site and other deals I have in place. All of that has come from the hard work I put in over the last 7 years... which is nothing compared to a lot of guys. But who gives a shit? It is a journey and I know I'm in a position to take that and keep improving on it, so that when I'm in my thirties I'm on the right path to join the millionaire club.

I know the level of work it actually requires to get from being a guy that's barely scraping by to someone who can live comfortably and do what they want. The thing is I want to keep working hard because the reality is that's the only way I ever got anywhere.

The bullshit excuses have to stop, and the flitting from one thing to the next has to stop and you've got to dedicate yourself.

It is hard, and most people don't want to do it, and some people just can't do it. The thing is, if you're here you probably can. I convinced myself for a time that I just wasn't cut out for this shit. It's not true unless you're not willing to change and make the sacrifices that YOU personally need to make to take your game to the next level.

I see a lot of journals on here where people are struggling with a lot of the issues I had, whether it's working on too many things or not knowing how to focus on what really matters, or simply procrastinating. I'm not going to name people, but it's a trap that people fall in to all the time. I'm not saying you can't succeed like that, just that you're making your life a lot harder.

If you're working on an affiliate site and want to flip it, or get it making you enough money to live comfortably off of you need to go all in and hyper-focus your time and effort on what makes your site grow.

- Quality content
- Driving traffic
- Improving conversions

Build > measure > learn > repeat.

You can succeed by simply being relentless with the simple things. Trust me, you don't need to overthink this shit. It just takes time and consistency.

I hope someone found this in some way useful, I see it as my little way of giving back to BuSo for all it's done for me motivation/focus/knowledge wise.
 

eliquid

SERPWoo
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#2
These stories are always good.

Good job.

However, I want to throw in a twist.

What do you plan to do now going forward. As in, how do you get to your next 7 years?

I don't mean what projects you work on now, but the process to get there ( your future ).

.
 

RomesFall

so po qwo ro
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#3
These stories are always good.

Good job.

However, I want to throw in a twist.

What do you plan to do now going forward. As in, how do you get to your next 7 years?

I don't mean what projects you work on now, but the process to get there ( your future ).

.
@eliquid Ooh difficult question.

Genuinely not certain right now because I still haven't got a proper plan in place. I'm a big believer that if you do the small things right, the bigger things will take care of themselves. Macro imitates micro and vice versa.

In this sense, in the last two and a bit weeks since I sold my share of the agency I was involved in, I've been trying to make some improvements to my lifestyle.

Sitting at home working for 12 hours a day for 2 years, almost non-stop isn't exactly good for your health... Luckily I was young and to some degree, I'm still kind of young. But 28 is getting up there and I know for sure I need to drop the 25lbs I've gained in the last two years. Diet and exercise need to be sorted asap.

I can't see any better investment into my future right now than my health.

Beyond that there are other things I've let slip... Reading (got so many books I've not read), web dev is something I've not improved my skills in for a while as well.

All of this needs to be developed into a routine that's actually going to help me progress with the least resistance.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail right.

The specifics are something I plan to look into more once I've broken some bad habits and formed some better ones.

Appreciate any advice though as I'm sure you've changed directions a few times in your career, it's a good question you've asked.
 
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#4
Your hard work is inspiring. I'm a lot older than you and been at this game for 5 years now. One thing I've never neglected is my health. Even if i'm working 12 hour days, i make sure to spend one hour four days a week working out.

I saw recent video by a Facebook chief who said - work, family, health, sleep, social life - pick three. I picked work, health and sleep - i think you can manage 12 hour days and incorporate all those.