I know you’ve worked hard at your job and sometimes you think to yourself that you enjoyed it more. You’ve probably put in 5, 10, or maybe 20+ years at corporate America just climbing the ladder because that was what you were told to do. Or maybe you didn’t join corporate America and just got stuck at some shit job that you hate. I am here to share with you how you can quit your job to do what you want to do and travel the world. But first, let me tell you my story.
MY STORY | HOW I DID IT
In 2005, I graduated from college and joined corporate America working in a cubicle. Initially, I was excited because I didn’t have to flip burgers anymore. And I was happy at first. But I soon realized that I sat in a cubicle for eight hours a day working an endless queue of reports. I remember going out during my 45-minute lunch (to the minute, yes, that’s corporate world) and seeing some landscape guys working. I remember thinking to myself that I would rather being doing that than working in a cubicle.
But I kept at it for a while hoping for that promotion so that I could get that nice corner office, a big pay raise, buy nice things, and finally be happy. Then, after a couple more years of working the grind, I got my promotion to executive director. I got my raise and corner office and got more responsibilities and people to manage. I bought a nice convertible and some other nice things to enjoy. I was happy.
Or so I thought. The happiness only lasted for a short while. I soon realized that I was doing the same damn thing with just a different look and desk. I still had an endless queue of reports to write and there was no purpose. I was working over 100 hours per week. I didn’t get to enjoy my nights or weekends. I was even more MISERABLE than before.
It was taking a toll on me so I decided to take a trip. In the summer of 2012, my wife and I went to Maui, Hawaii. It is by far my most favorite place on this planet. I love adventure and exploration and Maui is the best place for that. We went kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, trail hiking, and other outdoor activities. I was finally happy.
I came back to work after the trip and continued the 100-hour work weeks. You know what you eat when you work over 100 hours a week? Junk food. I gained 40 pounds over the span of a year. I finally made the decision to make a change.
I quit my job, started my own business, and started my journey to travel the world. In this report, I will give you the steps I took to make it happen for me so you can make it happen for yourself. Hope you enjoy. Cheers!
STEP 1. FIND YOUR BUSINESS IDEA.
First of all, do not quit your day job……yet. Be smart about it. Unless your partner makes plenty of money or you inherited a small fortune, make sure you have sufficient income from your business idea before you quit your job.
Now, I have to give all the credit to Appsumo.com for this one. They have a course called “How to Make Your First Dollar” and it is a fantastic course (no, I don’t make money off this recommendation. It’s a truly, kick-ass course). It will teach you how to come up with several ideas and pick one that is highest on the totem pole (highest demand or interest). Don’t think you can come up with ideas? The tools they have through the course are so good to get your creative juices flowing to come up with ideas.
ACTION: Join “How to Make Your First Dollar” course.
STEP 2. VALIDATE YOUR IDEA.
Noah Kagan, the founder of Appsumo, REALLY drills this into your head. What does validate mean? It means to make sure there is an actual buying market for your product or service prior to investing in it. He teaches you to try to sell to three people within a 48 hour time span. If you can, then it’s validated. If not, move on to the next idea.
I actually had an idea that I thought was brilliant prior to joining the course. Turns out, the idea sucked. I couldn’t get a single person to buy. So many people who come up with an idea skip this step. They buy business cards, incorporate the business, and pay a graphic designer to create a logo. I was one of them and I used to waste so much time and money.
I think this step is the most important. Again….validate, validate, validate.
ACTION: Validate using whatever methods necessary (legal & ethical). Sell to friends, family, coworkers, strangers, online, offline, etc.
STEP 3: SIGN UP FOR AN EMAIL SERVICE.
Have you heard the phrase “The money is in the list”? Well, it’s true. Think about it. Email is probably sacred to you. You probably hesitate when you are asked to input an email address. It’s because people guard it like it’s their cell phone number. They don’t want to be spammed. So if a person signs up for your email updates, then they already have interest in your business even if they are not buying right now (this does not count as validation….not until they fork over the money).
ACTION: Sign up for an email service. The one I like is AWeber.com (affiliate link – I would appreciate you using this link). I love the features and it’s reasonably priced. If you are tight on cash, then Mailchimp.com offers a free account for up to 2,500 subscribers. (FYI, I used Mailchimp first and ended up switching to AWeber. Worth it.)
STEP 4: SET UP A LANDING PAGE.
Everyone thinks they need a full-fledged website to start selling their idea. Bullshit. You only need a landing page (or squeeze page as some call it). What is a landing page? It’s a one-page website with only one goal: to obtain an email address.
Here’s a tip: Figure out something you can give for free. For example, this report is my FREE offer to obtain your email address. For landing pages, I use Leadpages.net. It’s really simple and easy. They have templates you can use and you can customize it any way you want. It, literally, only takes five minutes to create one.
ACTION: Join Leadpages.net. It’s worth the money.
STEP 5: GET THE WORD OUT.
In this stage, I would tell EVERYONE you know about your idea. Friends, family, coworkers, colleagues, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, etc. Now, you might be thinking…”I don’t want to sell to friends or family”. Well, in my opinion, you don’t feel passionate enough about it. Plus, you don’t have to “sell” it to them. Just mention it once and be done. If they like it, they’ll buy it. If not, no big freakin’ deal.
ACTION: Give Facebook admin access to some friends of yours to send invite links to all of their friends. And have your friends tweet about your business. Make sure they do it.
STEP 6: FOLLOW INFLUENCERS.
You will need a support system. Trust me. Some of your friends and family will give you negative comments about your business and tell you that you are crazy and that you need a “real” job. It’s good to listen to success stories from people that have been there. Find bloggers, writers, and podcasts in your niche. Here are some that I follow:
- Pat Flynn – SmartPassiveIncome.com
- David Siteman Garland – TheRiseToTheTop.com
- Tim Ferriss – FourHourWorkWeek.com/Blog
ACTION: Follow the guys I listed above and others in your niche. Read daily. Listen to their podcasts. Watch their videos.
STEP 7: INTERACT WITH INFLUENCERS.
Don’t just follow your top influencers in your niche but interact with them. Comment on their blog posts and articles. Email them to say thanks (don’t pitch just yet). Make friends with them. Build a relationship with them.
ACTION: Put on your daily list to comment “x” amount of blog or forum posts. Make sure they are genuine comments. Don’t just say “cool article”. The longer the comment, the better (but don’t write a book).
STEP 8: AUTOMATE YOUR PROCESSES.
Use your AWeber (or other email service) to automate your follow-up process. What do I mean by automate? I mean you can set up your email service to broadcast emails sent to your list automatically within a certain period of time. So for example, when you sign up for my email list, you automatically get a welcome email. Then all my subscribers will get an automatic email from me about once per week. All of this is automated. What’s brilliant about this is that you don’t have to rewrite or send the emails for every subscriber. Once you write them and set up the automation process, you can forget it.
Don’t make it spammy. Send out quality and useful content that will be helpful to your subscribers.
ACTION: Create your welcome email and your follow-up series.
STEP 9: BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST.
Focus on more marketing efforts. At this point, you’ve hit up your friends and family and have tried several different things to get the word out. Now, pick the top three things that have been working well, whether it’s Adwords, Facebook, or whatever, and focus on those three things. Here are some of the things I’ve tried and have worked successfully:
- Facebook advertising
- Google Adwords
- Reddit (do NOT spam. You’ll get banned)
- StumbleUpon (try out SU Paid Discovery)
- Twitter replies
ACTION: Try the list of things I’ve mentioned. Keep track of conversions. Then adjust accordingly.
STEP 10: MORE QUALITY CONTENT.
This is what will keep your customers loyal to you. Don’t sell to them. ONLY provide information that will benefit them and that they can use. You don’t need to be a Shakespeare to write your blog posts, articles, and copy. Neville Medhora’s book called “This Book Will Teach You How to Write Better” will help you write awesome posts and sales letters.
I would post once a week and keep it consistent. Think about your favorite television show. You know exactly what day and time it comes on and you look forward to it every week. Make your posts and newsletters this way. It doesn’t matter the day or time. Just be consistent.
ACTION: Buy Neville Medhora’s book. Read it. Do it. His AIDA formula is awesome.
STEP 11: INTERACT WITH CUSTOMERS.
It’s so important to interact with your customers. They are your everything…especially when you are first getting started. Reply to comments on Facebook and Twitter. Have actual conversations. It will keep your human touch in front of your subscribers and not a “corporate” face.
ACTION: Be human. Make friends. Keep in touch.
STEP 12: MORE READING.
I can’t tell you how reading more books helped me. I read a lot of entrepreneur books that motivated me to do more of the things I love to do. I was one of those kids in school that read the bare minimum to keep my grade up. And I chose the smallest books with the biggest words. Now I read at least two books a month. Here is my recommended reading list:
- Remote: Office Not Required from 37Signals
- Rework from 37Signals
- Without Their Permission by Alexis Ohanian
- Born to Blog by Mark Schaefer
- Klout Matters by Gina Carr and Terry Brock
- Start Something That Matters by Black Mycoskie
- $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
- Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- This Book Will Teach You How To Write Better by Neville Medhora
ACTION: Create your list of books (or use mine above) and start reading. Read daily and make it a habit (like read for an hour before bedtime).
These are the steps that I personally took to create a successful business so that I can travel anywhere and whenever I want.
I can’t guarantee that you will succeed by taking these steps, but your chances are SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER.
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