Sometimes you’re just not good enough. There are times in life where you put in a damn good effort and still fail to achieve your goals.
2017 was one of those years for me.
I failed. Things didn’t turn out how I had planned. But it wasn’t miserable. I simply didn’t reach the goals I set forth. I didn’t execute exactly as I had planned.
What type of failure are we talking about? Money. Income. “Passive” income to be exact.
See, in February of 2017, I earned exactly $0 USD in passive income. I was enjoying Bogota nightlife way too much and generally acting like I had made it.
After selling a website for five figures, I was traveling around while living off savings in the Dominican Republic and Colombia for months on end. I wasn’t creating much content for my websites and I certainly didn’t give a damn about my content and copywriting business.
I was coasting. Booze, drugs, and women were more than a focus. I combined the three into a lifestyle, and then went to the gym each day to workout the toxins.
By March, my bank account was damn near drained and things didn’t look great. I needed to get back to business and build a lifestyle that was sustainable.
Freelancing for shit clients certainly wasn’t it. So, I went back to the drawing board. It was time to create. If I was going to succeed, I needed to build something. So I started publishing, again.
From November 2016 through April 2017, I published 33 articles here. That’s a little more than one a week. Not a great effort. In May, I deciding to take this site seriously.
I published 26 articles in May 2017. Damn near as many as I did the previous six months.
Unsurprisingly, some money started to trickle in here and there. I learned how to sell, but I wanted more. I wanted to live a life of freedom. It was time to only work with clients I could solve problems for. It was time to create passive income.
Finding Your Focus
I didn’t know how I’d pay my bills, but I was committed to living life on my terms. I dropped half my clients. The work was taking too much time and the pay wasn’t enough to justify it.
I set goals and I made a plan to achieve them. This was my goal for 2017:
$3,000 USD in purely passive income by January 1, 2018.
A lofty goal for someone without a penny of passive income just 11 months prior, especially when SEO tends to take 3-6 months to kick in on competitive keywords.
I wrote about the goal in June and July. I knew six months wasn’t a ton of time to increase my income by $30,000+ a year. But I knew it was possible.
I was determined. I published 100s of articles here, created 75+ new YouTube videos, and started a couple niche sites.
I kept my great copywriting clients around, but stopped looking for new ones. I was dialed in on creating income from my websites.
Things slowly started to pick up. I noticed a damn near direct correlation between how much I published and how much passive income came in. The more words I put out there, the more cash came in.
Understanding What You Do Best
This was exciting and interesting for me. Why? Because I know I’m great at one thing.
I’m not the smartest guy around. I might not have the best ideas. Hell, there’s a good chance I don’t have the talent to succeed in certain arenas.
But there’s one thing I’m absolutely positive I’m great at…
Working hard and sticking with something.
Persistence comes naturally to me. Hell, some would say I stick with things far too long – even when I’m fighting an uphill battle.
For example, I played college basketball. Got nearly 100K in free education through athletic scholarships.
I was good. I was freshman of the year in my conference and named all-conference twice. But I wasn’t great. Naturally I just wasn’t very talented. I was just a 5’11” white guy trying to hoop.
In high school, I couldn’t even touch the rim when I graduated. I could get buckets. I stroked threes and had the best floated this side of the Mississippi, but I wasn’t a player most would consider athletic.
To succeed in college, I knew I needed to get more athletic. Being a good college basketball player was my goal. Then I wanted to play pro in Europe. These goals were my drive and focus.
So, I researched how to become more athletic. My research led me to a “jumping machine” claimed to guarantee an increased vertical.
I purchased a Vertimax for nearly $2,000 USD after working at Wal-Mart all summer long in the Home & Garden area. Not fun.
But it was worth it. The Vert-Max arrived. Within three months, my vertical had increased nearly five inches.
After 18 months and one successful college basketball season, I was dunking off a one-step drop. Not only that, I was quick as hell, too. Blowing by people. People were surprised a little white boy could move like I did.
I certainly wasn’t the best player, but through hard work and persistence, I found some success. Hell, at 0:36 in that video, I school an NBA All-Star that played for Weber State back in the day 😉
Like a my buddy Joe from Western Mastery says, I knew my talent stack. I knew that my road to success was going to require hard work.
So I put in the hours, which brings me back to blogging, niche sites, and online business…
Some people are naturally talented. That doesn’t mean they don’t work hard. It just means they naturally a skilled writer, marketer, networker, etc.
In my opinion, Ed Latimore is naturally talented as a writer and marketer. I have no doubt he works hard as hell, but he’s got “high major” talent from the jump.
My buddy James is similar. Dude makes more cash online per month as a teenager than most will make in there lifetime. He works hard, but he’s naturally gifted from a business perspective.
These guys make the most out of their talents. Some other talented people don’t, and there’s a saying:
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
If you’re not the best, you’ve simply got to outwork them until you are. You don’t have to start off with “high major” talent to make it to the big leagues. Or at least make some money online.
Shit, look at people like Kyle Trouble and Mike Cernovich. Both went from making pennies blogging to six-figures. Read some of these guys put out their first couple years as bloggers.
It’s wasn’t great. I say that with no offense. Why? Because they improved. They stuck with it. They went pro.
The stuff these gents put out now is amazing. Just look. Mike is world famous and Kyle might write the best emails out there in 2018. Hell, his email shit reads like poetry at times.
The hard work paid dividends. It always does.
Finding Solace in Failure & Moving Forward
Why do I bring all this up? Because it comes back to my situation. I set a goal of making $100 USD per day from passive income by the end of 2017.
Point. Blank. Period. In December of 2017, I made nearly $70 USD a day from affiliate marketing. While not horrible, I didn’t come close to reaching my goal. I failed.
I fell short of achieving what I set out to do.
Does that mean I’m going to put my head down and pout? Fuck no! It means I’m going to work even harder in 2018.
I’m going to set bigger goals and work even harder to achieve them. I know what I do best. There’s no question in my mind. If I want to succeed, I have to out work people.
While I didn’t see the results I wanted in 2017, I saw some good things. I found the connection between working hard and making money.
I know if I publish more articles, I will make more money. All I have to do is research a few keywords, write some headlines, and talk about my life experiences – as much as possible.
So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to create and publish more content than anyone else. I’m going to out work the competition and I’m going to achieve my goals.
While failure sucks, I found solace in it and I’m moving forward. 2018 is going to be a fucking great year. I’m going to crush it. So…
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.