Around the holiday season UPS advised me to leave my other jobs to work for them full-time plus overtime. Thankfully, although I didn't realize it at the time, that ended up being what pushed me into this world of online marketing.
Shortly after I left the pizza places, UPS fired me on January 4th, 2010(they are a union so they hire and fire the newest employees typically). I was angry so... very long story short I started pushing to find a way to make an income that I had more control over.
I got a bunch of roommates, sold my motorcycle, and had a few hundred dollars to my name at the beginning of 2010. My rent was about $1,150/mo for a 2 bedroom + 1 den apartment. I had my roommates pay most of the rent and I stayed in the den with my then-girlfriend.
In January of 2010, my first real online income was $0.23 from Google AdSense... everyone just laughed at me when I told them.
My first big win was when I made a deal with my apartment complex to help them get new residents. They would give me $500 towards a month of rent each time someone said my name when they moved in. I took advantage of this quickly and began posting craigslist ads, built a really crappy website called chesapeakevirginiapartments.com (ya know, back when exact match domains dominated), and tested about $1/day on Google AdWords. Shortly after launching the website (by this point I had experience of building about 8 niche websites for myself that weren't lucrative) I got my first referral. So instead of $1,150 for rent that month, I only paid around $650 of which the roommates covered. This actually ended up giving me a small income.
The following months I started building websites in mass, owning over 40 in a short time. Referrals were starting to flow in, revenue from Google AdSense, Clickbank, Commission Junction, Peerfly, and Amazon were building up, and I had started doing some minor tasks for $5 via Fiverr (which was brand new) here and there.
Around April I got a call from my old manager at UPS offering me my job back. I declined. He was dumbfounded. It was rare for someone to turn down the job offers from them so he didn't know what to say. A few days later he called me back offering me more pay per hour. I declined again. He was totally shocked. It was as if no one ever said no. Later he called one more time with his last offer and I said no thank you. The next week a competitor of theirs called Estes Express Line called me with an even higher offer, I gratefully declined once again.
You see. I had found a world that, at the time, very few people even knew existed. A world where I had control over my life.
Since then I've done some pretty amazing things, in my opinion. Especially given that I had no college experience in marketing and very little budget to start each project.
I'm very proud of these last 10 years, they haven't all been easy. But they have absolutely been worth it. Here's to the next 10 years and pushing forward. Back then I was a lone wolf, now I have a team and have built a family with a beautiful wife and daughter So there's even more motivation to move forward now.
P.S. Thank you to everyone in this forum that has helped me throughout the years, especially during the hard times.