Since I was in high school I was looking for opportunities to generate additional income. At the age of 18 I was already generating enough income to pay myself for the school. I was born and raised in Mexico City, where the public-school system is deficient and a private school is a standard for a decent education in the middle class.
Years later I became a business consultant in information technology. That gave me the opportunity of working in projects of my interest and traveling around the world.
The consulting experience was great. I met my lovely wife in one of those projects as she was also a consultant working with me. The life of two consultants, traveling together, and with paid expenses was like a prolonged honeymoon.
During that time, we had our two gracious daughters. My wife left her work to dedicate to the kids. I moved to a local opportunity to be close to the family. Suddenly we were living on a single salary-income that was fair. The problem was that we were living on a third of our previous income, our expenses increased, but we were really not reducing our life costs in the same proportion.
I want to highlight that we were blessed to have a job and a healthy family. The companies I have worked have been good and fair with me.
That was the time I started looking at internet marketing as a secondary income. I didn’t know anything about the most basics of the industry. WordPress, domains, traffic and conversions were foreign words to me. However, I had the intention to be successful and started grabbing knowledge wherever I could.
Learning from anywhere and everyone is a good beginning, but without action and application that knowledge has really no practical value. Therefore, I took one single solution with the intention to complete it from start to end. I selected a membership site for a topic of my interest.
Although I was involved in a program that gave me step by step instructions on what to do, I was horrified with all the steps that were needed, joint ventures to make it work, finding the right resources to perform special tasks – and none of them were cheap. Then I decided to do it all by myself. Be the all for everything and take one step at a time.
It took me months just to learn and setup a WordPress site. I bought any kind of plugin just in case I needed it or because it was offered to me. I was surprised how easy was for me to buy anything offered in the market and how I felt happy to buy that tool that I really didn’t need. I was experiencing the power of copywriting as a consumer and without realizing it.
Then I faced the challenges with the content. English is not my first language. I also didn’t know anything about sales copy.
Limiting myself with the idea that I was not able to write in English, I looked for professional copywriters and content creators. They were not cheap, and I spent many weeks looking for alternatives. After a long research and wasted time I was pleased myself of finding the cheapest freelancers in the market. I extended the same concept by hiring cheap virtual assistants and teaching them what I knew so they could replicate the work. But the work was deficient , and I had to rework almost everything. I didn’t realize how much effort and hours I had spent in getting to that point just to realized that the cheapest could result very expensive.
The membership project didn’t progress. The expenses continue flowing out. The expected additional income, that was the initial purpose of this initiative, was far to become a reality. I was spending time on it instead of dedicating that time to my family. The only value of all this situation was the experience I was getting: An expensive learning experience.
As a consultant in a local job, I was fortunate to have a long-term local project. However, time came when the project finalized, and the next assignments were out of the state. They demanded me traveling on Sunday night while sleeping in the airplane and returning on Thursday night.
When my 3-years old kid saw me arriving on Thursday evenings she was very happy! However, that happy face lasted only 10 seconds. Immediately she was turning mad on me because of being far from her so many days. She avoided direct eye-contact with me and that was really painful. It took me couple of days to recover her trust, just in time to prepare for my next departure. And the cycle started again…
By the way, my wife was following the same pattern. She was also getting upset with me on my returns. If we wanted to keep my family, we had to find alternatives as this was not going to be a sustainable long-term situation.
We were looking again for extra income opportunities. We tried multilevel marketing (MLM) and were really engaged organizing house meetings, inviting friends and family members, calling everyone we knew, and learning many lessons of what to do and what not to do. We followed the book by the letter as we were told by our upline that this was the key to success in the network marketing industry. I cannot recall how many friends started to avoid us.
It was probably not a pleasure experience, but it brought us with marketing knowledge from a different perspective. We also learned by personal experience the challenges that network marketers live in the traditional MLM journey.
Later we joined one of those real estate courses. We were initiated with a complementary real estate seminar, upgraded to a two-days workshop for a discounted fee, to finalize in a full upgraded system with weekend bootcamps, software tools, a personal mentor and the most advanced successful methods in real estate.
By that time, I was fired from my job. This was our only income and our savings were already depleted. However, our credit history was excellent. We applied the techniques that we learned from the real estate training and applied for 20 credit cards at once. We got a lot of approved credit. And we started looking for real estate deals and buying houses wherever we could.
I leveraged my internet experience in generating leads. I was actually successful in getting good leads. We acquire the first house, fixed and repaired and with the support of my mentor we had it rented in couple of months. “That was easy!”, I thought.
My wife asked me to find a job as our cash was really coming from credit cards. The real estate business would take several months to start cashing positively. She also wanted the security of a regular income and medical insurance for our family. Our kids were young, and she couldn’t find a decent job herself given that she stopped working since our kids were born and technological consulting companies were rejecting her.
I was fortunate enough to find a new job in a short period of time. However, my attention to those real estate projects deflected significantly.
My internet marketing strategies were working, and I was getting more good leads and purchasing more houses… I started all kind of real estate project: Flipping, leasing with option to purchase, wholesaling, subject to.
The problem is that I was not finalizing any of them. Cashflow was going only out – and very fast. I passed many days without sleeping, working the evenings, nights and weekends in these projects, while complying my obligations with my job and family.
After some months we were able to sort out all the real estate projects. As a consequence we were in much higher debt that when we started the real estate business, close to ask for bankruptcy, and exhausted of the experience. Another expensive learning.
Here is one of many reasons I love so much my wife. She remembered me what she has told me several times: “We know people that talk about ‘wanting to do’ many projects and initiatives but doing nothing at all. At least we tried!”
Success is reached by persistence and dedication. I also don’t know any successful entrepreneur that had it right the first time and without challenging lessons on their way. Definitely we were ready to recover! We just needed to align the right elements and leverage our experience to make it work.
Again, we were looking for additional sources of income. This time under budget. The opportunity of being a network marketer in a new MLM came again. However, I didn’t want to follow the traditional recruiting processes I learned from the previous MLM. I was successful getting leads by internet. By that time I knew about technology and how to implement and integrate it. I had an advantage over the other network marketers.
I started my online campaigns and generated some customers in the beginning. I didn’t spoke to any of them and they were buying the products and getting recruited. I analyzed the activities that were working and improved or replicated those that were more successful. Cash was coming in.
This time I was methodical and focused. However, an other elements were added that I consider were key in the process:
While implementing the marketing solution, I was focused on how I can help my future customers or partners to accomplish their goals. This is big. When I started thinking about others, on how to help them, instead of looking just for my personal benefits, the game changed dramatically.
After few months I had over 1,000 customers and hadn’t talk to any of them on the phone, in house parties, or by messengers. However I was in constant contact with them… by email: the communication method that permitted me to attend them properly while fulfilling my job responsibilities during business hours.
Extra income of thousands of dollars was coming and significantly helping us to face our debt with the banks. But we also learned important lessons:
With persistence and focus we are able to accomplish our goals – in this case being successful to leverage my internet marketing experience and generate REAL extra income.
I am the only one responsible for what happens to me.
By helping others the universe returns the favor helping me and my family.
We are really blessed!
Today I continue growing my online business and looking for every opportunity to help others accomplish their dreams.
If you relate to my story, trying to make your online business work and facing many challenges to succeed, but not getting the results you were expecting, my main advice is to believe in yourself, define what you really want, and be persistent to accomplish it. The how will come on your way. You have the control of what happens to you in your life, and only you. Not your boss, or your partner, or parents or anybody else – only you!
Today there are much more opportunities for a successful income leveraging the internet than 10 years ago. The world has opened for good. There is a huge opportunity in front of us to become a success with the internet. And this is just becoming better every year.
It takes the right mindset and effort to be successful. This is not a magic pill or a quick-rich scam. Creating a prosperous and successful online business takes time and dedication. By having you reading this post demonstrates your interest in being successful – and I really appreciate that.
As one of my blog readers my purpose is to align you at the very least in the right direction to success. With the right fundamentals and direction, this process can be pleasant and successful to you. If there is anything I can do to help you in your journey just let me know and I will do my very best to assist you.
To your success