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The other evening after dinner I was sitting on the couch watching some TV, well, to be honest, I was watching a Novela (Soap Opera), probably not the best way to spend my time, but oh well. While I was sitting there, I realized that my drop shipping business was not doing a dang thing, and I was just throwing money and time at it, and then it hit me like a cold bucket of water. I started to remember all the business ideas I attempted over the past 30+ years. I looked around the room, and yes, I do have a roof over my head, my health, good kids, a dog, a bearded dragon, a snake, and a job, but I felt as though I haven’t gotten to that place that I would like to be at, and I don’t know why, but it hurt for some reason. Maybe I am thinking all wrong, and I should be contemptuous with what I have, but since I was young, I always thought I would be at a certain place in my life when I reached my current age. Maybe I have, but I don’t know.
Hopefully, this won’t be a huge post, and I will cover each of the things I attempted to do over my lifetime, but not in detail. If you read my earlier posts or the “About Me” page, you would know that when I was a kid, my mom came from a wealthy family, and we had a good life, but that all changed when my mom decided to follow my father to the states. My childhood as a kid in the states was a story of a very poor kid with lots of struggles. At a very early age, I had a vision of where I was going to be when I reached a certain age, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, even as a kid, but I had a vision. All I needed now was the vehicle or path, to take me to where I wanted to be.
I had a rough childhood, and my mother passed away from cancer when I was 18, just a month after I graduate high school. I had no one, and I did not know a thing about anything. Now, I was accepted to MIT on a partial scholarship, but unfortunately, I did not have the money or support to go to MIT. Back then there was no internet, and I simply did not know about grants, loans, etc. I was left all alone at 18 and I had to learn everything the hard way. I did go to a community college for almost three years, but of course, I had to work and things got hard, very fast. With a full-time job, unfortunately, I had to stop going to school. Now, that did not stop me from trying to figure something out with my finances, and my first business idea came from a late-night infomercial.
Not sure if you remember a guy late at night letting you know, through the TV, that you can make money by placing tiny little ads in newspapers – yes Don Lapre. I remember getting off from work late, not being able to sleep, and seeing this infomercial for the first time. He was talking about the dream, and everything he said, was what I needed to get out of where I was and where I wanted to be. I remember opening the box when it arrived, I was excited and ready to go. I read the books a hundred times and placed my first ad in the local newspaper. I did this for a while and along with the other hundreds of similar ads, I was making some money but nothing to write home about. During that time I came across another ad about having your very own 1-900 number. Who didn’t like calling in on those Datelines or Read Your Future line? I purchased my first two 1-900 lines and began running ads for my two 1-900 lines in the same local newspapers I was placing my tiny ads. It was generating some income, but I wanted more. My youth got the better of me and if I could go back and tell my young self to keep on that path, I think my life would have turned out differently. You see during that time I discovered Vending Machines, and I purchased three existing routes. This is where I made the mistake, I think I took on too much. I had a full-time job, worked on my Vending Machine routes, had two 1-900 numbers, and continued to place ads. What happened was that I came of age to go clubbing, and I took another turn. The workload, plus the nights out, got to me and after about almost two years with the vending machine routes, I sold them. I did sell them for a profit though and that was the same time I got a job in a corporate world. Keep in mind I started this when I was 18, so in a short time span of just over 3 years, I already had attempted three business ideas.
Joining the corporate world brought to me the idea of a 401K, which immediately I started when I had the chance and began to learn as much as I could about stocks, mutual funds, etc. During my personal learning of stocks, I came across another gentleman, named Ken Roberts and was immediately intrigued with futures trading – remember the movie Trading Places? I purchased the Ken Robert course and opened a practice account and started my journey. Now, I practiced for at least 9 months and continued reading other courses, but work took over my life and I placed that business idea on hold. You see I became a supervisor at my job and I was working 16–18-hour days, plus weekends. I was still placing tiny ads and advertising my 1900 number, but then marriage popped into my life. I was with the company for about 5 years now and I met my current wife. Married life took a lot of time up, and my wife did not like me working 16-18 hours days and then working at night trying to figure out the ads, so guess what, I stopped placing tiny ads and advertising my 1-900 number. I wonder if they still exist?
About the second year into the marriage, I realized that I wasn’t on that path to where I wanted to be at a certain age, again, so I needed to do something. I found a job posting to work as a broker and went to an interview. During my interview some of the new guys were telling about how they were making 70K to 150K in their first year, if you hustle that is. You know what, this was the path, but it was shot down quickly. You see the company that offered me the broker job was going to train me and help me pass the Series 7 exam. The thing is I needed 2-weeks to complete the training. Now I had the accumulated time off, but my current employer would not allow me two weeks off for vacation, so that idea was out. Now I did do my own training and applied some ideas to my 401K, you know the piece to research companies, etc. So, I was able to adjust my 401K to perform better. With the broker job gone, I continued to search for something else, and during my research, I came across the business idea to Flip Notes. Now I don’t remember the name of the company I used, but I purchased their course and began the journey. I remember my first note, meeting with a client and closing it out to a nice profit of 9K, but of course, I was still young in my marriage and my wife did not like me working the long hours. I did close 6 deals and made about 35k, but that ended. A bit of time went by and I had another of those A-Ha moments where I did not feel as though I was going on the right path. So, after speaking to my wife I started to sell Music CDs and a few other collectibles on eBay. I found this wholesaler where I was able to get CDs for 0.15 to 0.75 cents and sell them on eBay for 3-5 dollars. I had tons and I was literally making an extra 1k a month, with a few months hitting almost 3k. I remember selling a beetle’s CD that I purchased for 0.50 cents to someone in Japan for 75 dollars, plus they paid for shipping and handling. I had to set up the eBay product, keep an eye on bids, package the CDs, and ship myself. It started to become a lot of work, but it was paying off. Well, guess what, we had our first child, and besides marriage taking up a lot of time, imagine a newborn. Between my full-time job of 16-18 hours, and weekends, plus my eBay business it left no time for family, so I had to place that idea on hold as well.
Life moved on and before I knew it, my son was heading to kindergarten. I had a different A-Ha moment. I was working 100+ hours a week and felt I was going nowhere. We started having marriage problems and I had no one really to talk to, you know a friend or someone. I wanted to know if there was a way for me to talk to someone, share my day with a stranger sort of speaking and this is where my next idea came about – blogging. Blogging wasn’t a huge thing yet, but I started my first blog and this allowed me to share my experiences and vent. It came at a moment in my life that I needed it most. During this time, I learned about affiliate marketing. Now Amazon was not on the radar yet, but there were hundreds of affiliate programs out there which meant that there were ways to generate income. Now that I had a blog, I incorporated these affiliate links. Later Amazon hit and I joined their affiliate program as well when it became available and I incorporated it into my blog. The sad thing is, I think my story is starting to sound like a broken record, because a few years into my blog, we had our second child. Once again, I had to place my blog and affiliate programs on hold.
The years flew by and I had left all my business ideas behind, but one good thing came about during this time and that was that I ended up getting my degree in business. The thing is I still felt I wasn’t on the path to where I wanted to be at a certain age and now my ideas seemed old. Now, I had to jump into the crypto current fad, so I decided to invest in crypto currency. And if you have read any of my posts, just last year in 2021 I dipped my foot into Day Trading, which after some time I ended up losing almost all my initial investment. This brings me to my latest business idea, that we have all-seeing or heard through social media and the internet, which is, “owning your very own drop shipping business”. You know the story so far about that, it has produced nothing and yet in about 30 minutes, I am going to research some products, load them to my store and set up the next advertising campaign.
As you can see over the past 30 years, I have attempted quite a few businesses, and on many occasions I was successful, but for some reason or another, they came to an abrupt halt. I mean you can say that I don’t have discipline, drive, focus, and you might be right. I don’t know what it could be, I personally think I just have bad luck (laughter). One thing I do have to say is that I keep trying and maybe one day, even when I am 80 years old, something will be kind to me and provide that passive income, or side hustle income that I have been searching for so long, but has eluded me all these years.
Hey, this was a long post, and if you are still here, I bow down to you and thank you for sticking it out. As always, I leave you with a thought, “All those times you think you failed, you really didn’t. It might seem you gave up, not followed through, had no discipline, or whatever anyone says why you did not make it. I think it was just another step towards where you were meant to be. Keep pushing forward, you need to believe in yourself because I believe in you – Best of Luck.”