Entrepreneur Journey Part 2

The first post in this journey detailed why I got into entrepreneurship and my struggle to find the kind of business I wanted to settle into. I might call that the dawn of my entrepreneurship. It was distinguished by lots of learning, lots of dabbling, lots of charging head first, lots of failure and lots of deciding what I wanted as an entrepreneur.

I learned that I didn’t want spend all my time doing something I didn’t love. I didn’t want to sit in a float center all day and be stuck in a physical location. I didn’t want have to rely on other peoples money and restrictions. I learned that I wanted to build streams of passive income that would make money day after day without my constant attention.

The Dawn of my journey was marked by a lot of jumping form one thing to the next. I love Seth Godin’s book ‘The Dip.’ I learned to fail quickly. I learned that I needed to be picky with how I spent my time and that meant not doing anything I didn’t find joy in for too long. If you do, you get stuck in it. Its easy to start your own business only to find yourself unable to escape the prison of your own creation.

In the last post I left off not really having a direction. The direction found me honestly. I kept moving forward, learning as much as possible and saying NO to things I wasn’t 100% all in on. It was scary at the time. I had just gotten my girlfriend of two months pregnant and neither of us had jobs. I had no intention of getting a job. I was going to figure this out or I was going to die. I had that attitude from the moment I quit nursing school back in 2010, only having a child on the way adds in a new element.

I trusted my journey and remained in good spirits. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way, after all.  I really believe that. Life unfolds magically if you let it. I realized all the stuff I was dabbling in was creating a skill set. I was learning the environment I was swimming in and acquiring skills with which to navigate it efficiently. At the very least I was bumping into the walls and turning a few lights on.

A the end of my last post before the update I believe Haley was largely supporting us from her job and I was starting to find success on YouTube. I got one channel to $2k within a month putting Deepak Chopra Audio books and Eckart Tolle videos up among other things, It got shut down shortly after. I started another channel around Abraham Hicks videos because I knew she wasn’t shutting people down and Haley and I were listening to her stuff everyday anyways.

I grew that channel pretty quickly finding unique ways to spin her videos, making good cover art, optimizing my channel and releasing 3-5 videos/day. The channel hit $4.5k/month within three months before it settled down to around $3.5k/month.

Haley quit her job so she could come home and tend to Phoenix. I was supporting us. Our rent was 1.2k/month, we had ~1.1k in credit cards and student loans payments combined, with 1k in food/month plus Phoenix’s expenses, so we didn’t have a ton to live on. But I was making passive income and supporting us.  Neither of us were working jobs and we spent out time doing what we wanted each day so it was pretty amazing. We lived on Youtube income for about a year and a half. It took about 4 hours/week to sustain.

The last update to my entrepreneur post was 10 months before now.  I started hiring writers to make book summaries for what I would call Ant Hive Media. I was a bit optimistic about my numbers and my growth at that time. To start I got 1.2k from my mom to make books. I did a sloppy job hiring the cheapest writers I could. I got 20 or so books made really cheap, I got a cover template made on fiverr.com with the .psd file for about $45. I was happy with how they looked and I knew they would sell based on the titles alone. I put all the books up to prove the concept. They weren’t edited or formatted very well. I got some bad reviews because of it but I made my money back within the first month and a half.

About this time I lost motivation to put up more Abraham Videos. Instead I got obsessed with Film making. Haley and I watched movies every day and I read a bunch of books on Film. We started making daily vlogs so I could practice filming and editing and being in-front of a camera. I put the vlogs on my Abraham Hicks Channel but they didn’t get near the views Abraham did so my YouTube income started dropping.  We also started working on building our Instagram followers.

I knew there was a business in the books. I got another 2k from my mom to make more books. I hired cheap writers again but better than the first time. I was focusing most of my time creating vlogs and learning film. When the books got back they just sat there. This frustrated my mom because she saw it as dead money sitting around so she helped me publish them. Then we enlisted my grandma to edit them. My Gramma used to edit college thesis papers when she was younger so she’s quite good at it.  We started going back and quality controlling the old books and I improved my hiring process. I stopped going for bottom of the barrel, I stopped hiring non-native english speakers and I got feedback from my grandma on who I should keep and who I should avoid.

We started getting a good system down. I was doing what I loved and outsourced the parts that were a drag to me to my mom and grandma. They seemed to enjoy their roles. We made a good team. As the YouTube income was shrinking the income from the books started to climb. I had 18 writers at one point. I had a pretty good batch of rock stars. A few that needed a little fix-up work and a few that faded away and didn’t have much output. I really started building my collection. I sent more books to my grandma than she could edit and more to my mom than she could format and publish.

We got a notice that our lease was about to be up and Haley found an amazing place in the mountains. We had been driving around looking at houses and imagining places we wanted to live and this place exceeded our wildest imaginations. The rent was $1.9k a little more than we could afford at the time. We got a 2k tax return that helped with month one and one of the book publishers pays out every three months which gave us 2k the next month. YouTube income shrank to 1.5k/month while the books started making ~3k/month. I invested any extra money we had into paying my writers.

We moved in March 24th. This month (May) YouTube deposit was 1.3k, and I got $700 from Audio books, $900 from amazon kindle, $1k from hard covers. Smash word’s which pays every three months made 2.2k last month. For a total of $3.9k+$2.2k=$6.1k for April income which pays in May. May revenue was 3.4k from smash words, ~2k kindle, ~2k create space, 1.2k Audiobooks, 1.2k from youtube for a total of ~9.8k which pays in June. So things are growing nicely.  We published almost 150 books at this point and I feel like our momentum is still catching up to us. Kindle and hard cover sales are growing, Audio books are also starting to kick in with 95 published and 33 in production.

In other news, I currently have ~10k followers on Instagram and Haley has 11.9k. She has been getting free stuff sent to her every few weeks. She got some awesome clothes from Australia, and has a $400 diaper bag on the way.  She’s growing great connections with her audience. Next month she’s leading a community of women. It’s called Goddess Garden and the cost is $50/month. I’m really excited to see where she goes with that. Three people have already paid her and she got over 6 applications so far.  Really cool to see what we have been working on take form and evolve.

I cut back to 2 writers for now until Smash Words pays out at the end of July. Then I’ll hire another round of writers and grow the collection 2-3x. Stopping production will allow us to catch up on publishing our backlog and see what our momentum does the next couple months from the books we have up and the tweaks we’re making.  It also gives me time to focus on new directions.

I’m diving really hard into Andre Chaperon’s stuff. I’m rewriting his sales letters by hand to get better at writing copy and going through his Tiny Little Businesses & Autoresponder Madness 3.0 Courses. Also reading all the books he recommends that catch my eye.

My goal is to become one of the top internet marketers in the world. I want to be able to help thousands of people go from $0-$4k/month in passive income rather quickly to supplement their lifestyle or replace a job they don’t like. I think learning Affiliate Marketing, Email Sequences, Copy Writing, paid traffic and Sales Funnels will give me a third bullet to use.

I intend on following the Tiny Little Business course to create another $4k+/month stream of passive income. It will add more security and another skill-set I can use to make the next pivot. I can see myself making my own product and promoting it with JV’s (?) and on ClickBank which I know nothing about right now. I plan on spending the next 2-3 months learning then execute the next $4k/mo minimum passive income stream.

I have a ClickFunnel sales funnel opt-in page built for Ant Hive Media at Anthivemedia.com/freesummaries which gets about 5 subscribers a day right now. I’d also like to come up with an up-sell there probably a pack of 25 summaries +5 bonus summaries for $47.

Mostly I’m in learn mode. Read as much as possible. Rewrite Copy everyday and make it through both of Andre’s courses. Rewrite my top 11 goals 3x/day and listen to all of Self Made Man Podcast episodes.  After that I’m confident the next direction will become obvious.

As Winston Churchill says, “It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.”

I do feel like I’m turning the corner.  I’ve gone from $0-$4k+/month in 2 different streams of passive income both rather quickly. Although it took 5 years or so of stumbling around before I found them.  I’m gaining an understanding of the online landscape and the path I’m on now should round out this stage of my knowledge. I’m finally getting to the point where I will have some extra money I will have to decide where to put rather than into books, food and bills.  Haley is also beginning to build income online and I know she is going to continue to create something really cool.

We get married at the end of July. I think I will plan a solo trip to South America to study in the jungle for a week or two in September then we’re expecting another child around January. I felt like I stagnated for a period of time after reaching many of the goals I had set out to accomplish, But zooming though the Self Made Man podcast episodes listening to big thinkers has me setting big goals for the future and chasing my dreams again. Until next time.

Thanks for reading,

 

Travis

 

 

 

About Travis

I'm half man half spirit.
The soul of a wizard.
An expanding awareness of space.
Experience always in place.

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