Oh boy, here we go

joshy

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I've been lurking for a while and finally built up some courage to get involved. I'm so impressed with the quality of conversations going on in here! This actually feels like a community and I'm excited to finally get to work.

⚠ Warning: This post is going to be a bit of a cathartic exercise for me. I hope some other newbies can relate and that it encourages others to be honest in here. Helloooo vulnerability.

TL;DR
I'm a newbie in the online money-making/problem-solving space looking for some guidance here in BuSo. I've wandered for the past 8 years with no clear path and have wasted so much time it scares me. I have a small amount of web development experience and I'm learning SEO.

Why I'm here:
All of the noise out there about building websites that generate income has left me confused and paralyzed. I've been overwhelmed by Internet marketing and SEO communities and Facebook groups. People recommend said groups and they turn out to be low on substance and high on selling courses and services. It's pretty pathetic out there. I'm gonna lose my shit if another person tries to sell me their $1,997 SEO course that is discounted for the next 24 hours and comes with a bundle of 50 ranking secrets that is valued at $10,000. Oh! And once the doors close the offer will not reopen.

Ok, let's reel it back in here. Basically, I'm trying to find my tribe. I'm hoping that BuSo will be a place of accountability, guidance, education, and camaraderie for me.

My history/background:
For years, I've been a pinball bouncing around various money-making gigs. I've done photography, video editing, construction, and web development. The Tim Ferris bug bit me after college while I was traveling around Central America. Those ideas really changed how I viewed work and career life. It ruined my ability to work at a job. Being constrained by a job I don't enjoy scares the shit out of me [puffs on inhaler]. Those years ago, the concepts in The 4-Hour Workweek blew me away. I was just never exposed to alternative views on what work and life could be. The college-to-career mentality was all around me and it was intoxicating to discover a different way to live. Unfortunately, that excitement didn't translate into anything other than warm fuzzies. I just started avoiding getting a job and instead, opted for freelance work in an attempt to remain free. I've basically been living a pseudo-freedom lifestyle. Making ends meet on random gigs just to maintain a feeling of freedom. This is very dangerous. Maybe even an emergency. It has fucked my financial health and it's made me a generalist in my skills. I also feel I've wasted a lot of time and now I'm 31...

Where I'm at today:
Now that I'm aware of my pseudo-freedom, I'm trying to gain clarity and manage expectations when it comes to making money on the Internet and life in general. I'm also trying to get clear on my goals and what my ideal life looks like. I don't want to work four hours a week and then fuck off. I just want to work on something that actually works, and then I want to repeat that process until I have several businesses and revenue streams.

At the moment, all of my online endeavors are not making money. Some are in their infancy and others are moving very slowly.

What I'm working on:
1. Local lead gen sites (starting to pick this up again)- I have two at the moment. One gets a few phone calls a week and the other one is lost at sea. I really like the concept of local lead gen. Especially in the home services vertical b/c I've worked in a few of those industries before. I'm also very interested in the idea of building out local lead gen sites and eventually turning some of them into actual businesses. Send leads to local biz once the site is ranking, but one day turn that site into an actual service business. I'm super motivated by what @BoxF is doing with local lead gen.
2. SaaS product for home service professionals (ongoing for three years now)- my business partner and I have been building an app in the real estate vertical. We've done a lot of research and are getting close to releasing a beta. It's been a long road. Our slow movement is due to some hiccups in the past that hamstrung progress and there were significant timeframes where nothing was getting worked on at all. Also, my partner who is the developer can only put in 10-15 hrs each week and my coding skills aren't at a point to where I can be effective. Tried in the past, but ended up slowing things down even more. Hey! Coding can be hard! At the moment, I'm not sure what I should be working on with this project. Our beta should be ready mid-Summer. We have a landing page and target users in my state know about us because we've taught some website/marketing classes for free to build relationships with them.
3. A "marketing agency" for users of our SaaS app (a couple of hours a week)- my biz partner and I discovered that our target users were in need of websites and marketing. Through research and networking at conferences, they started asking us to help them with these items. We started a DBA under our SaaS business to offer websites and SEO/marketing to try and get some money coming in. We've built two websites since starting a couple of months ago, but haven't converted anyone to recurring work with SEO or marketing. This endeavor is very recent.
4. Paying my bills (~15 hrs/wk.)- right now my income is from working two days a week in my Father's business (more home services) and shooting weddings on weekends. These gigs pay quickly and allow me freedom throughout the week.

Goals/Desires:
1. Income creation, stability, and growth
2. Maintaining a handle on who has access to my time
3. Long term/pie in the sky- I want to be able to travel freely and often, build a small house that I design on a property near the ocean so I can work on my surfing and maybe do some farming/fishing (I love to cook), and have the means to quickly get into other business opportunities or help friends/family with theirs.

Enemies:
Procrastination
Laziness
Analysis paralysis
Shiny object syndrome

Fears:
That I'm gonna work on something for too long that ends up making little or no money.
Not working on the right thing.
Working a job I hate or committing to something I don't enjoy.
Being stuck where I've been stuck for the past 8 years.

Conclusion:
Ok! That wraps up the first episode of Another Confused, Wandering Entrepreneur. Thanks for tuning in and hope that was confusing and scary enough for everyone! I might read this tomorrow and wonder, "what was I thinking?".
 

BoxF

ǝʌıʇɔǝdsɹǝd ɹnoʎ ǝɓuɐɥɔ
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Amazing to hear that you're already getting some calls! It takes time and endless pursuit to make a large lead gen network, however, very achievable to those willing to work through it.
 

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
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Your story is very similar to many of ours, I'm sure. Whether being a generalist and bouncing from thing to thing, or constantly "starting over" thanks to Google updates, losing our butts on PPC campaigns, etc.

One thing is for sure, being a generalist will absolutely hinder you. You need to be a specialist, for the sole reason that everyone can do what a generalist does. Being a jack of all trades and a master of none means exactly that, and only masters command big boy prices.

Yeah, seeking this freedom is harder than just taking the safe path of landing a day job. There's infinitely more risk, there's at least double the hours, there's a lack of being social, exercise, whatever else we put on the back burner. There's always the temptation of "I'll do it once I'm free" and then life passes us by.

A really huge bird's eye view of this game usually looks like:
  1. While you build your assets, make money by:
    1. Freelancing, or
    2. Day job
  2. You're now making better money from either:
    1. Freelancing as a specialist, or
    2. Your assets
  3. Now you scale your cash flow by either:
    1. Turning your freelancing into an agency, or
    2. Building more assets.
The most high-visibility people in the industry tend to go the Agency route. I've always been attracted to the Assets route and have ridden the rollercoaster up and down with SEO, which sucks. So I've been going 50/50 as Assets/Freelancer lately. Having the cash flow from doing 'active income' work can help you build your assets faster too.

It really boils down to the gold rush analogy. Do I sell shovels, or do I pick up a shovel and start digging (or both). But you definitely don't have time to 100 things and expect to gain mastery of any of them nor gain the notoriety needed to be seen as a master either.

That was a long ramble for me to attempt to say being a generalist sucks and focusing on one high-value skill is infinitely better. The rest is just the framework I see everyone else including myself working with during the journey.

I hope sharing another point of view can help bring some clarity or insight. I'm glad to have you aboard the forum and hope you'll stick around and be active. The more talking we have going on, the more knowledge gets shared and we're all better off for it. Catch ya around the forum!
 
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You mentioned you are looking for a tribe. I can relate.
I started reading humblesalesman posts at r/entrepeneur.
I found out he moved to r/juststart. There I read about incomeschool.
It all sounded like a dream.

However, none of these places are as informative as BuSo.
Afaik, none of them give their members a kick in the ass when they are not performing.
Oh sure, some of them do give useful advice, and some even tell you that your process is wrong/not productive. Humble was the most useful one imho, but he is gone.

Here on BuSo it seems that the kick in the butt is better targeted. They usually tell you exactly where you are going wrong and WHY.

That is why I chose this place. It gave me the confidence to quit my job.
Because I know people will not treat me with kid gloves. They show the real world.

I am of similar age as you, and I feel the same.
Yet I feel we are young enough to take the leap. Just try to improve a little every day.
 

CCarter

If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist?
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Enemies:
Procrastination
Laziness
Analysis paralysis
Shiny object syndrome
These are all symptoms of the problem. You have no solid goals - nothing worth "jumping out of bed for", nothing worth "putting in an extra 2-4 hours a day or night for.", nothing worth "losing a day's sleep for".

Fears:
That I'm gonna work on something for too long that ends up making little or no money.
Not working on the right thing.
Working a job I hate or committing to something I don't enjoy.
Being stuck where I've been stuck for the past 8 years.
1. No one bats 100% at the plate. Failure is a key ingredient in success. Either your personal failure or failure of others that you learn from. It's 1000% faster to learn from other's failures since that compresses time so you don't have to learn that lesson through experience which takes your time. You are going to fail, so get over it. Every failure leads to the next journey and next step of your game.

2. What's right or wrong? Especially when your goals are vague?

3. I think that's why most of us are here, so that's a check.

4. You are stuck cause you are comfortable being where you are. The one step that makes people take responsibility for their lives is admitting that once you get past 18, you are responsible for your actions. You are where you are at cause that's where you want to really be at. If you don't you wouldn't be where you are at, you wouldn't sleep. If you had no roof over your head, your #1 priority would be to get a roof over head no matter what cause it's uncomfortable sleeping on concrete or in your car.

The problem is once people get to a certain point they lose that "#1 priority killer instinct" that got them to where they are at. You need to get that back.

Goals/Desires:
1. Income creation, stability, and growth
2. Maintaining a handle on who has access to my time
3. Long term/pie in the sky- I want to be able to travel freely and often, build a small house that I design on a property near the ocean so I can work on my surfing and maybe do some farming/fishing (I love to cook), and have the means to quickly get into other business opportunities or help friends/family with theirs.
1. This is your #1 problem - this goal is "vague". It's a desire - like a wish list. Tons of people wish for a car like a Ferrari, but how many are willing to not sleep or grind an extra 20-40 hours a week until they get one? Just 1% are willing to try.

Create solid goals that you can see - monthly income of 20K, and goal of increasing by 20% a month. Those are two solid goals that you can see how far off you are from it, and then you can figure out what high level skill you can utilizing to obtain it.

It's visual, it's quantifiable. "income creation" and "growth" without numbers are just vague. You could make 10K or 40K and still not be satisfied since you never set a real goal. It's like losing weight for an obese person or gaining muscle for a skinny person - what's the "end goal"?

Just losing weight won't work as a goal, there has to be a number to get to, and then create baby steps to get to that number by breaking it down by 10 pounds. Otherwise if you lose 10 or 40 pounds you won't be satisfied cause you didn't have a clear objective in the first place, that's why a lot of people fail cause they didn't have a target goal.

Same for gaining weight, what's a quantifiable goal? Then create baby goals that you can cross off your list to get to that big goal.

3. Again - perhaps you do have internal personal number of how much this is going to cost, but clearly these goals are not "jump out of bed" or "grind an extra 20 hours a week" - so they are weak. There are a lot of pie in the sky dreams of "retiring young and not doing anything" - which is okay for some, but you have to provide a lot of value to the world and exchange that value in the marketplace to gain whatever it cost to live that life.

If you quantify your goals you might find out that you only need 20K total to find cheap land in some country or coastal state, and can do all that - farming, fishing, building house - RIGHT NOW for extra $20K total to get started, then can do some freelance work for an extra $x month income and you'll be 1000x more happy.

But all that requires quantifying your desires, and setting real goals, then setting mini-goals to get to that.

I used to have no "serious goals" too, then I ran into this Earl Nightingale speech, I now listen to it about 2-3 time a week, it helps me stay on track and realize what's important in life according to my goals, it's worth a listen:


Welcome to BuSo!
 

Ryuzaki

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jstover77

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I didn't read your whole thread, just the cliff notes...lol. People ask me this very same question all the time. Here's my short answers:

- Find a problem people have...solve it
- Find where there's demand....sell it.
- Focus on one thing...you can't be all things to everyone. Caveat being, you should know what you're talking about.

I'll be here all week.

P.S - Hit me up on Skype. I'll throw you some ideas.
 

joshy

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Amazing to hear that you're already getting some calls! It takes time and endless pursuit to make a large lead gen network, however, very achievable to those willing to work through it.
Thanks! The bulk of the calls I'm getting are from my GMB. My site is still buried in the SERP around pages 5-9. Haven't done any link building only around 70 citations- directories, social signals, videos. Very eager to hear an update from you in June!

These are all symptoms of the problem. You have no solid goals - nothing worth "jumping out of bed for", nothing worth "putting in an extra 2-4 hours a day or night for.", nothing worth "losing a day's sleep for".



1. No one bats 100% at the plate. Failure is a key ingredient in success. Either your personal failure or failure of others that you learn from. It's 1000% faster to learn from other's failures since that compresses time so you don't have to learn that lesson through experience which takes your time. You are going to fail, so get over it. Every failure leads to the next journey and next step of your game.

2. What's right or wrong? Especially when your goals are vague?

3. I think that's why most of us are here, so that's a check.

4. You are stuck cause you are comfortable being where you are. The one step that makes people take responsibility for their lives is admitting that once you get past 18, you are responsible for your actions. You are where you are at cause that's where you want to really be at. If you don't you wouldn't be where you are at, you wouldn't sleep. If you had no roof over your head, your #1 priority would be to get a roof over head no matter what cause it's uncomfortable sleeping on concrete or in your car.

The problem is once people get to a certain point they lose that "#1 priority killer instinct" that got them to where they are at. You need to get that back.



1. This is your #1 problem - this goal is "vague". It's a desire - like a wish list. Tons of people wish for a car like a Ferrari, but how many are willing to not sleep or grind an extra 20-40 hours a week until they get one? Just 1% are willing to try.

Create solid goals that you can see - monthly income of 20K, and goal of increasing by 20% a month. Those are two solid goals that you can see how far off you are from it, and then you can figure out what high level skill you can utilizing to obtain it.

It's visual, it's quantifiable. "income creation" and "growth" without numbers are just vague. You could make 10K or 40K and still not be satisfied since you never set a real goal. It's like losing weight for an obese person or gaining muscle for a skinny person - what's the "end goal"?

Just losing weight won't work as a goal, there has to be a number to get to, and then create baby steps to get to that number by breaking it down by 10 pounds. Otherwise if you lose 10 or 40 pounds you won't be satisfied cause you didn't have a clear objective in the first place, that's why a lot of people fail cause they didn't have a target goal.

Same for gaining weight, what's a quantifiable goal? Then create baby goals that you can cross off your list to get to that big goal.

3. Again - perhaps you do have internal personal number of how much this is going to cost, but clearly these goals are not "jump out of bed" or "grind an extra 20 hours a week" - so they are weak. There are a lot of pie in the sky dreams of "retiring young and not doing anything" - which is okay for some, but you have to provide a lot of value to the world and exchange that value in the marketplace to gain whatever it cost to live that life.

If you quantify your goals you might find out that you only need 20K total to find cheap land in some country or coastal state, and can do all that - farming, fishing, building house - RIGHT NOW for extra $20K total to get started, then can do some freelance work for an extra $x month income and you'll be 1000x more happy.

But all that requires quantifying your desires, and setting real goals, then setting mini-goals to get to that.

I used to have no "serious goals" too, then I ran into this Earl Nightingale speech, I now listen to it about 2-3 time a week, it helps me stay on track and realize what's important in life according to my goals, it's worth a listen:


Welcome to BuSo!
CCarter- Wow, thanks for the honest feedback. I never considered that my fear of working on something that will end up going bust was ACTUALLY fear of failure. Thanks for helping me clear that up!

Most of what you mentioned seems to revolve around my vague goals, which I totally agree with. I need to realign with some S.M.A.R.T. goals and push through. I have a tendency to fall off the boat when I'm not seeing progress. Then, I reach a point of vagueness where I'm lost and unsure of what to work on. A very vicious cycle to be in.

I re-read The War of Art over the weekend to get familiar with those ideas of Resistance as the enemy of success. I may have to make that my weekly read- similar to how you watch Earl Nightingale's speech 2-3 times a week. The ideas in that speech you shared are perfect parallels.

Thanks for the welcome!

You mentioned you are looking for a tribe. I can relate.
I started reading humblesalesman posts at r/entrepeneur.
I found out he moved to r/juststart. There I read about incomeschool.
It all sounded like a dream.

However, none of these places are as informative as BuSo.
Afaik, none of them give their members a kick in the ass when they are not performing.
Oh sure, some of them do give useful advice, and some even tell you that your process is wrong/not productive. Humble was the most useful one imho, but he is gone.

Here on BuSo it seems that the kick in the butt is better targeted. They usually tell you exactly where you are going wrong and WHY.

That is why I chose this place. It gave me the confidence to quit my job.
Because I know people will not treat me with kid gloves. They show the real world.

I am of similar age as you, and I feel the same.
Yet I feel we are young enough to take the leap. Just try to improve a little every day.
WinMore- Thanks for sharing. I'm familiar with Income School. That community felt a bit too amateurish for me. I do like that they put so much emphasis on putting in the work. The moderators are also very honest, well-meaning guys.

Would love to hear more about what led up to quitting your job! Anywho, thanks for the welcome!

Your story is very similar to many of ours, I'm sure. Whether being a generalist and bouncing from thing to thing, or constantly "starting over" thanks to Google updates, losing our butts on PPC campaigns, etc.

One thing is for sure, being a generalist will absolutely hinder you. You need to be a specialist, for the sole reason that everyone can do what a generalist does. Being a jack of all trades and a master of none means exactly that, and only masters command big boy prices.

Yeah, seeking this freedom is harder than just taking the safe path of landing a day job. There's infinitely more risk, there's at least double the hours, there's a lack of being social, exercise, whatever else we put on the back burner. There's always the temptation of "I'll do it once I'm free" and then life passes us by.

A really huge bird's eye view of this game usually looks like:
  1. While you build your assets, make money by:
    1. Freelancing, or
    2. Day job
  2. You're now making better money from either:
    1. Freelancing as a specialist, or
    2. Your assets
  3. Now you scale your cash flow by either:
    1. Turning your freelancing into an agency, or
    2. Building more assets.
The most high-visibility people in the industry tend to go the Agency route. I've always been attracted to the Assets route and have ridden the rollercoaster up and down with SEO, which sucks. So I've been going 50/50 as Assets/Freelancer lately. Having the cash flow from doing 'active income' work can help you build your assets faster too.

It really boils down to the gold rush analogy. Do I sell shovels, or do I pick up a shovel and start digging (or both). But you definitely don't have time to 100 things and expect to gain mastery of any of them nor gain the notoriety needed to be seen as a master either.

That was a long ramble for me to attempt to say being a generalist sucks and focusing on one high-value skill is infinitely better. The rest is just the framework I see everyone else including myself working with during the journey.

I hope sharing another point of view can help bring some clarity or insight. I'm glad to have you aboard the forum and hope you'll stick around and be active. The more talking we have going on, the more knowledge gets shared and we're all better off for it. Catch ya around the forum!
Ryuzaki- That birds-eye-view is helpful! I also have to keep reminding myself to eat the elephant one bite at a time when thinking about the entirety of this process. Thanks for the warm welcome!