NovaXyon Affiliate Marketing I Had No Concept I would Be an On-line Entrepreneur At some point

I Had No Concept I would Be an On-line Entrepreneur At some point


Two months before I graduated college with a degree in finance, I landed a job as a loan officer. I was set to start my new job right after graduating.  

I also got married the week after I graduated.

Life was going well!

My first day on the job as a loan officer, they sat me down in 1 of about 50 other cubicles and handed me what was essentially a print-out of a phone book.

They handed me a sales script, had me listen to a few calls, and basically said “go for it!”.

I did NOT realize that my entire day would be cold calling people trying to sell them a refinance of their mortgage.

After a couple of weeks dialing numbers, I realized this is not what I thought I had signed up for.

An unexpected turn.

I didn’t need a college degree to dial the phone and make sales.

I was miserable.

So, 2 weeks after get my first “real” job after college, I quit.

After talking it over with my new wife, I decided to find a short term job…and start applying for more long term work.

I just needed something to pay the bills until I found a real job that actually required a college degree (which I figured could take a few months).

I Managed a Carpet Cleaning Business…

So, within in a week of quitting my “loan officer” job, I was hired as a manager at a carpet cleaning company. I was essentially the office manager and didn’t clean any carpets.

I mostly managed…ironically…the phone sales team that was calling homeowners to land carpet cleaning gigs. I also managed the owner’s scheduled, organized leads, and other office duties.

The business owner was SO unorganized, but he was amazing at cleaning carpets. This was my first glimpse up close of someone running a business. I would not describe the owner as intelligent, and he certainly wasn’t organized, but he was great at what he did!

This was an early seed planted that made me think…maybe I could be a business owner some day.

I even got on the phone and sold a bunch of carpet cleaning appointments. Turns out selling carpet cleaning over the phone is way easier than convincing people to refinance their home.

Meeting Millionaires at Merrill Lynch

I hustled and helped this carpet cleaning business for about 3 months before I landed my first “real” office job…at Merrill Lynch as a client associate.

I was hired as a junior member of a team of financial advisors. I even ended up getting my Series 7 and 66 licenses so I could make stock trades for clients.

Looking back, I really lucked out and got to work with the most successful team in the office.

This team (not everyone in the office) focused exclusively on individuals with investable assets of $10 million or more.

I answered client calls, fixed account issues, made trades for clients, created spreadsheets, and overall handled whatever clients needed. But I also got to be in the room with successful advisors…and sometimes the multi-millionaire clients themselves.

As part of my work, I was working in client accounts and so I could see how much money they had, what they were invested in, etc.

I quickly learned that the clients with millions of dollars in investments were mostly entrepreneurs.

I did work with a professional athlete (that you’ve all heard of), and other wealthy individuals that didn’t make money through business…but MOST of them did.

This was another seed planted that maybe being an entrepreneur wasn’t such a bad idea.

But I had no ideas, and no money to start anything.

I worked at Merrill Lynch for 2.5 years and then decided to go back to school and get my MBA.

Getting an MBA and Joining Wells Fargo…

I moved to Arizona, went to ASU, and took the evening MBA program.

My wife and I already had a child and one more on the way at this point.

I also took a full-time job as Wells Fargo Financial.

I worked at Wells Fargo Financial for a couple years essentially doing financial sales…ironically with mortgages. But this was a bit different than my first job.

I actually got a base salary plus commissions.

And I got more leads than just a phone book.

As much as I hated this job, it taught me to be entrepreneurial. Sales requires grit and perseverance.

Sales are the perfect training ground for entrepreneurship.

My First Website…

While working at Wells Fargo Financial, and mostly not enjoying it, I decided to create my first website.

Looking back, I have no idea how I found time while working full-time, going to school full-time in the evening, and with 2 children under 3 years old.

But in 2006, I created my very first website. I wanted to find a way out of the corporate world.

I found some time in the evenings that I didn’t have school.

What takes me about a month to do nowadays probably took 6 months back then, but I made a bit of progress.

I created a website!

It totally flopped (likely because I didn’t have much time to put into it).

But I KNEW I wanted to have my own business at this point.

I KNEW I wanted to quit my job.

But the timing wasn’t right.

I moved from Wells Fargo Financial to Wells Fargo Bank as a Business Banker in 2006 and got a decent bump in salary.

I finished my MBA in 2007.

The Move

Then my wife and I moved to Washington state so my wife could be closer to her family.

I also convinced Wells Fargo bank to transfer my position to Washington.

I didn’t really like my job. But it paid the bills.

I worked as a business banker for 5 more years.

Throughout that time, I was mostly working with entrepreneurs and business owners.

I was helping them with whatever banking needs they had.

But what I got in return was MUCH more valuable. I got to talk with MANY successful entrepreneurs.

These weren’t special people. Most of them were very average.

However, they had landed on an idea, took a risk, and some of them had become multi-millionaires.

I could see their bank balance. They were legit.

Perhaps seeing the numbers, helped me realize how real this business thing was.

The Idea That Allowed Me to Quit My Job

In the evenings or early mornings for those 5 years, I worked at my own online business.

I didn’t have much money to invest, so I picked online business because it was flexible and inexpensive to start.

I eventually landed on the idea of niche websites.

I started building niche websites targeting long tail keywords. And some early success (like a website making $100/month) gave me confidence to keep going.

By the end of 2010, I was making more money from my niche websites than my day job.

I was starting to save up some money because I essentially had 2 full-time incomes at this point.

I was also REALLY into this long tail keyword research thing…and I didn’t like the keyword research tools that were out there.

I took some of my savings that I had built up and I hired a programmer to build me what eventually became Long Tail Pro.

After saving about 6 months of living expenses, I decided to quit my job on March 11th, 2011.

My First Million…

I launched Long Tail Pro within months of quitting my job.

I had my niche sites making more than my former salary, and then Long Tail Pro was the gravy on top.

Long Tail Pro eventually became my first million dollars in the bank when I sold the business in 2016.

And I’ve now been a full-time entrepreneur since 2011.

Since selling Long Tail Pro, I’ve had some ideas flop and some ideas become a big success (like Link Whisper). I still can’t say that I know for sure what I’ll be doing a few years from now.

Learn to Enjoy the Unpredictable

The journey here was not predictable. And my future journey will continue to be unpredictable.

I had NO idea what my professional career and business would look like.

What I had in my head when I graduated college is nothing like my future became.

My future was WAY better than expected.

However, I went through about 8 years in the corporate world where I wandered around, not really knowing where I would end up.

I didn’t necessarily enjoy those 8 years, but they planted the necessary seeds and gave me the experiences I needed to eventually become a full-time entrepreneur.

My advice?

Enjoy the journey.

Keep trying.

Entrepreneurship is very real!

Sure, you might not be able to predict where you will end up. But it just might end up being better than you expected.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *