Have you ever wanted something so bad you can taste it? You know what I’m talking about. It’s like the “burning desire” Napoleon Hill told us about in his business classic, Think & Grow Rich.
Maybe it’s something you wanted for so long, but life got in the way. The desire faded away and never materialized. Instead, it was destined for the recesses of our minds and only accessed during daydreams while we plodded along unfulfilled.
However, I’m not here to talk to you about “what if’s.” Rather, I want you to understand that your burning desire is still possible. And it all comes down to one word: time.
If you’re willing to use your time wisely, you open up an entire world to yourself. For instance, consider compounding interest for a second. What’s the main factor we hear about regarding this financial concept? That the earlier you invest, the better. So, starting as soon as you can allows you to have time on your side.
What am I talking about? Well, it comes down to using your time to “grind.” You see, there’s a small subset of people — entrepreneurs not doing the big, sexy things like social networking, blockchain, and artificial intelligence — who are dominating the niches they’ve carved for themselves. And they’re doing so by using their free time — nights and weekends — to grind and build their businesses.
Who are they? They’re called bloggers — and some are doing it for a full-time income.
I know what you’re thinking. Nobody makes money from blogging! Well, you would be wrong on that. Allow me to introduce you to two bloggers, Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus, who are making $75,000 per month with their blogs, Avocadu and Create and Go
Nerney was kind enough to walk me through their journey. Before you judge, make sure you read everything he has to say.
The desire for more — and for freedom.
Have you ever said to yourself — is this all there is? You go to school for all those years to get up, get ready for work, get stuck in traffic, work a job you may or may not like, and go home. Then, you repeat the process on a daily basis until you (hopefully) get to retire.
I know I’ve had days like that. Fortunately, those of us who feel this way are in good company. Nerney and McManus felt the same way about their jobs.
“I was working full-time as a personal trainer at the time and Lauren was working full-time as an accountant,” explained Nerney. “We felt frustrated and indentured to our jobs. We felt like we were trading our hours for dollars and that our time was not our own.”
While he always had an interest in online marketing, he never truly committed to it. That is until one day when a personal training client made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. The client offered to give Nerney “his ticket to The Millionaire Fastlane Conference, a small meetup of about 50 entrepreneurs.”
“The conference was a game changer for me,” says Nerney. “Seeing successful people, both young and old, share their stories and connect was amazing. It lit a fire under me that I have to build something better for myself than being just a personal trainer.”
Things did not come easy despite the outcome we see now.
Building a business isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires an incredible effort that many just aren’t willing to put themselves through. For Nerney, it meant waking up at 4:30 in the morning and heading to a local Starbucks in Uptown Dallas. It’s there that he would work on the blog and then go meet up with clients at 7:00 a.m. He says he would “work on and off throughout the day on the blog between clients and into the evening. When we started, we worked crazy hours and a lot of nights and weekends.”
Even though they put in all the time in the beginning, they were hardly an overnight success. “Our first attempt at blogging completely failed,” Nerney acknowledged. However, out of that failure was born Avocadu, a healthy living blog that now makes $20,000 per month for the duo.
Getting to that point required a lot of sacrifice and difficult decisions. “[We] became really serious about making something out of this and making sure we didn’t head down the road to failure again,” says Nerney. “We even began eating eggs and rice twice a day for weeks on end to save money that could be devoted to our blog.”
But, that wasn’t all they did to commit to achieving their burning desire. They abandoned all ships behind them and decided to go for it at all costs. “As Lauren became more involved and we started to work harder, I realized that giving up our most productive hours to our full-time jobs rather than our new business was really hurting us,” Nerney explained. “We needed to quit our jobs.”
While it may be unthinkable for many of us to even consider leaving our jobs, it was the catalyst for Nerney and McManus to begin their journey. And although Nerney would lose income as a trainer, McManus took an even bigger risk in her career as she had just passed her CPA exams. Getting back into the workforce would be easier for Nerney, but not so much for McManus.
Despite these concerns, “the desire for freedom outweighed those fears,” said Nerney. “We had some money saved up and we told ourselves that we would make this thing work no matter what.”
Little wins lead to larger wins.
Within the first few months of leaving their day jobs, the decision paid off for Nerney and McManus. Income from Avocadu doubled for five months in the beginning. “Within our first year of blogging, we had a month where we earned over $40,000,” explained Nerney. “We began earning $10,000 per month consistently and then brought that one blog up to an average of over $20,000 per month in profits.”
Their incredible success with Avocadu led the pair to create another blog, Create and Go, which caters to aspiring bloggers who also want to take their blogs full-time. “Our mission at Create and Go is to be the No. 1 most honest and transparent source of information for people who want to make money blogging from home,” Nerney stated. “We teach from the standpoint of the successes and failures that we have experienced and continue to experience … so that our information is as relatable as possible for people looking to start a blog in another niche.”
According to Nerney, Create and Go made $55,000 by itself in December 2017. Taken together with Avocadu’s $20,000 for that month gets you their $75,000, and they’re on their way to $100,000 per month. “Weirdly, as our blogs have grown, less work is required to make the money that we do,” explains Nerney. “The beginning is hard because you aren’t making any money and you are working very hard. But at some point, there is a massive shift. Once you develop the skills for it, your income can grow exponentially.”
Sure, that’s very telling of the ability level that Nerney and McManus are at today. However, another thing also struck me: The process is repeatable. Consider this from Nerney: “Today, if Lauren and I wanted to start another online business or blog, we could probably do so and reach success quite quickly because of the skills we have learned over the last two years.”
Their lessons for the rest of us.
One thing that I hope you learn from what Nerney and McManus accomplished here is that it’s not easy. They didn’t just wake up one day with the secret to online wealth and money-making schemes. The takeaway here is very simple, but profound: It’s about the process.
A name that came up in our conversation and one that echoes on sites about entrepreneurial endeavors is that of MJ DeMarco. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s an entrepreneur who cut his teeth by selling Limos.com twice. He authored the book The Millionaire Fastlane and runs an online forum for entrepreneurs. “Wealth eludes most people because they are preoccupied with events while disregarding process,” explains DeMarco in his book. “Without process, there is no event. Process makes millionaires, and the events you see and hear are the results of that process.”
For Nerney, this idea is “the dose of medicine everyone needs to hear who wants to be a business owner or make money for themselves.” Their process — early mornings, late nights, weekends, constant learning and reiterating with their blogs — is the what resulted in their “event.” Of course, that event being making an incredible full-time income from a blog that would make many professionals with advanced degrees blush.
At the end of the day, though, they stress that anyone can do what they did, “Lauren and I did not achieve this level of success because we’re special or different,” says Nerney. “We’re just a couple of average people that wanted freedom really badly. We wanted a different kind of life than the one that we were indoctrinated into since birth.”
What’s that mean for the rest of us? Well, we need to find a reason we want to build a business, a blog, or achieve that burning desire. Then, we need to learn, take action, and figure out our own process to get there. It won’t be easy and will require us to grind it out on a daily basis.
It is all worth it in the end. When you refine your process, you eventually get your desired event. Or, as Nerney said, “The best part is, you aren’t working for someone else’s dream. You’re building your own.”
David Domzalski is the founder of Run The Money where he discusses making and saving money, health and fitness, and how to truly adult. His writing has been featured on AOL Finance and Bankrate.