It was ten years ago that I took a leap of faith. Then 11 years old I had a stack of money freshly earned from many hours spent refereeing soccer games.
By 11-year old standards, I was loaded. I had it all. Depending on where I worked I could bring home anywhere from $8-30 per hour. I had more cash than I knew what to do with.
But I didn’t have enough. Over the winter months when the fields were closed I doubled-down. I started my first online business at the height of the internet bubble. I found an opportunity to buy very popular (at least then) popunder traffic for $.50 to $.55 per 1000 viewers to resell for anywhere from $.80 to $5, depending on volume.
I was hooked.
In the following years I expanded. At some point I had growing pains in being squeezed between school and work. I was reinvesting almost everything on the premise that I’d one day get my exit. All the while, I had to make a choice: school or no guarantee of success? I remember the words of Robert Frost’s poem telling me to take the path less traveled, just as they had years earlier when I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad for the first time.
I had long stopped enjoying school. It was boring, incredibly topical, and having gone from a private school to public school (sidebar: I’ll eat dog food before I send my children to a public school) I wondered what value I was really getting out of it.
In the end, my wager paid off. I was rewarded with more recognition for my entrepreneurial endeavors than I could have ever imagined. A national scholarship, tons of college money, and some recently regained respect from the teachers whose classes I had bombed put me on cloud nine. I was happy doing what I loved, even if my ties to financial firms had cost me tons of revenue on top of heavy fixed expenses in 2008-2009.
I had “made it.”
Behind the Scenes Opportunities
On the backburner of the stove that is my business I’ve always had one very rare gem. I’ve filtered cash to it, and at times even abandoned it. I’ve sucked equity out of it to keep up other segments of my business during downturns. But now I want to go back to polish this gem.
A gem it really is. In the past few years I’ve let it mature. I purchased it for pennies, and it’s already over-delivered. I can compare it only to purchasing a whole run-down apartment complex at a tax-lien sale for $1,000. Over time I’ve spruced up the place, I’ve made it (slightly) more attractive and I’ve prepped it for the big move.
It’s ready for this big move.
I made a promise to myself to make it everything it could be this summer between semesters. I’ve delivered on that promise for the past two months, and I’ll do it for the next two.
From today until December 31 it will earn 70 hours each week of full-on hard work. It will get ten hours a day, each day, and I’ll make it everything it can be. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, and I can provide value-add only in a few pieces of the business. The best source of value-add will be in my work ethic. No plan is capable of making a successful business–I need to execute, and do it harder, faster, and bigger than anyone else.
This next leap of faith is quite the leap. I’ve abandoned almost everything else, automated virtually all other processes in my business and put people in place to make sure that the day-to-day of operating my business won’t get in the way of this new development. I’ve even found myself skipping meals to make this happen.
I’ve thinned out my life. This summer, I passed up what would have likely developed into an excellent internship in finance. I’ve cleared my schedule. I ditched out on summer classes. I’m all in once more, because there’s nothing I love more than an all-in wager.
My life is “lean” so this…startup, I guess you could call it, doesn’t have to be. This is the biggest leap I have ever taken. I’m ready for another plunge. Never have I put together a team so capable. We’re going to make this happen.
Why I posted this here
Money Mamba will be, in no way, affected by this decision. It has been, for me, an escape within an escape. In between work, I keep on top of finance and the world around me. Whereas some escape to the movies, I escape to the pink pages of Financial Times. Even the very long posts I tend to post here take only an hour or two at the most–I’m not much for dwelling over what I put up here. (Ahh…the benefits of blogging for experience, not for money.)
Recently, though, I’ve been less active. I’ve taken days to respond to comments. Now you know why.
You can expect your normal dose of (hopefully) thoughtful and interesting blog posts. In the future, I may even introduce you to my baby.
Additionally, I want to post this publicly to hold me to my new plans. I’ve slaved away for many weeks, and I’ll be doing it in the future. I love what I’m doing, and I think it will be an exceptional development, but I know that there are days where I don’t want to put in the time. I do, but I don’t want to some days.
So you’re going to hold me to it. While you can’t come here to wring my neck if I lazy out, knowing that my subscribers are reading this makes me know that I can’t be lazy. I’m going for it once more, just as I did a decade ago.
Hang on tight. This is going to be a wild ride. Don’t worry, I’ve stocked up on 36 cans of Coca-Cola to get me through the first week or two. 😉