I’ve talked about the shift in the American dream before, but it’s probably more true now than ever.
June 30th, 2012 marks exactly 12 months since I worked my last day in a cubicle in exchange for a paycheck and I’ve learned so much it’s hard to believe it’s the new “normal”.
It’s no longer having the house with a white picket fence, a Mercedes and 2.5 kids. In fact, today most people don’t have any desire to own a car at all.
Today, the dream is to own your own business and have the kind of personal liberty that almost nothing else can provide.
It’s not a cake walk, in fact you’ll never work harder than you will as an entrepreneur but it gives you the latitude to spend your time on work that you actually love.
“I want to be en entrepreneur for the personal satisfaction instead of just cashing the easy paycheck for “today” money.” [Click To Tweet]
Getting What You Want
Make no mistake about it, doing well as an entrepreneur is no easy feat. When you work for someone else it’s common to slip into the clock-in/clock-out mentality where you can honestly afford to ignore those 1am customer requests.
I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve had to stop whatever I was doing and dig into a customer’s WordPress backend to help them solve some obscure problem they had that wasn’t even caused by my products.
Doing this though brings me immense satisfaction because people are genuinely thankful for the extra effort, and I’m in this to help people and create lifetime customers.
If you are lucky enough to build something that helps a lot of people that you actually enjoy, covet that and do your best to multiply the experience.
You will be rewarded exponentially for your efforts.
Creating Real Value
Entrepreneurs like to throw around the word “value” a lot. To be honest I don’t think many know what real tangible value is.
We all like to think that things we create have value, but in reality most of what gets created is pretty useless.
It’s for this reason that I have avoided “info products” like the plague, even though there is a ton of money in them.
Since most people don’t do anything with what they are given (and even less when it’s just information), I knew that building software with a specific use case was going to be infinitely more valuable than anything else I could bring to the marketplace.
As they say, I kept it simple stupid. And it has worked like a charm.
Building Long Term Assets
In the past 12 months I have traveled more than ever, been in the best financial position in years and enjoyed the highest level of personal satisfaction to date (but I still have a long way to go for all the above).
I’ve been able to travel to Texas, Cabo San Lucas (pictured above), Portland, Kodiak Island, Vegas and more.
Those locations were for pleasure because I could continue to create value while traveling, I had many more trips for work.
The key here was the added flexibility of being in control of when my efforts produce dividends to match the lifestyle I desired.
So you might be wondering, what kind of work supports this lifestyle and can continue to grow?
It’s been about 50% software and 50% client work, but let me elaborate…
Working With Interesting Clients
I dabbled for years with Internet Marketing, and had actually fallen into a form of it when I was 18 with my first computer company.
What was intended to be something small, turned into a large scale eBay drop shipping setup that had me pushing 200-300 laptops per day.
I’m not a developer, hacker or otherwise but at the time I had figured out how to circumvent my High School’s filtering system to access my eBay business.
I also grabbed some half done scripts to compile an automated way to post 1k+ eBay listings each day to keep up with demand.
Once I found a few offers that scaled, and worked with the likes of “Shoemoney” to launch a few projects I had enough experience to start working with interesting clients.
These range from best-selling authors, speakers, to local franchise owners.
The same is true of all clients I work with now though, they are decent people who are trying to do big things.
Building Simple Software That Works
While I love my clients, this part of my business has me much more excited.
I recently successfully completed the launch of my first self-branded product called “Contest Domination“, which has done over $100k in sales since it launched in April.
This puts our total volume in roughly the 4,000 copy range and we aren’t just sitting on our thumbs.
I’ve partnered with a “SaaS” (software as a service) pro whose helping me bring something really special to the market.
Driving a SaaS to compliment the distributed software model should put me in the position to help a variety of different people in a variety of different ways.
But the most important thing is that I *am* helping people, earning a stellar living, working my tail off and loving every minute of it.