Ever hit rock bottom?

45 replies
The more I read posts on here the more I see that a lot of now-successful warriors have gone through seriously troubling times. I think sometimes newbies don't realize that many of us have been in their positions or even worse.

I'm hoping that if we share some of our stories where we were down on our luck, some newcomers who are in the same position might benefit from our experiences on how we got out of it and became more successful.

So... have you ever hit rock bottom? Have you ever gone through some seriously tough times?

And more importantly, did you gain anything from them?
#bottom #hit #rock
  • There are some benefits to hitting rock bottom. There's only one way to go.

    Beyond that, though, it can also open new windows because you are no longer invested in your old endeavor. You are starting over, but now you can move in many directions you did not, or could not, consider before.

    It also frees up your time. At the height of success, sometimes you get spread too thin, creating ill-advised business expansions, or using plentiful income to enjoy life. Before you know it, your time is not your own, and focus on one core profit center is impossible.

    When you lose it all, you are forced to focus on one thing to get reestablished, and that makes all the difference. In a weird way, too, it's a stress reliever. It's like when you break up with your girlfriend finally, instead of always fighting to make it work, when it was never meant to be.

    Another consideration is you learn a lot. Not just about your business, but about yourself: What it's like to take big risks, fail, and come back again. Guts and determination. Never giving up. Many people will never have to dig that deep within themselves, and their lives will be poorer for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author payoman
    Yeah, just recently posted that I have been.

    I over-hired and under-charged for my services and ran my cash flow into the ground. I applied for jobs and got a seriously attractive offer of $60k + $10k vehicle + $15k bonuses as an executive in a large print and digital media company, but it would have required a relocation so I really had to think long and hard about it.

    I decided that no matter what job I took to 'pay the bills', even if it was an executive position or working at a drive-thru, I would always want to have my own thing. Something that I built and controlled and that worked for me. So I turned the job down and this week will be reconstructing everything and working toward getting the systems in place to grow steadily, and not try to expand too fast and go bust.

    I still have many hurdles ahead of me, but strangely I was having more success when I first started this business with just one guy who I outsourced the web design to, than when I had 5-6 guys all doing different things for me. I think that was an indication that to grow takes time and you can't rush it.

    Anyway that's my two cents. Back to work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    In Christmas 2009 I lost 33% of my personal training business in one month. This was more than the typical holiday slow down. Right then I had a feeling things were going to start going south for me, as the Economy was starting to catch up with me.

    I finally closed the doors in October 2011. I once had 53 clients I handled personally; when I closed, I had only but 10 or 12.

    What was tough was I did everything right. I marketed well, I saved a bunch of money from my activities; I had a killer ad that outperformed everything beyond my wildest imagination but eventually puttered out. I'd market to get people in the door, but the cost of doing business was more and the profit per client was lessening. I adjusted my business model to change with the market but to no avail.

    After a year of selling life insurance with ups and downs, I hit rock bottom in April of last year. My lead vendor f*cked up my lead flow, which resulted in the worst clients to sell to. I didn't have but $400 in the bank, and the few bigger deals I had closed weren't going to pay me like I had hoped they would. Don't know how I did it, but I was able to sell my way out of that hole and have been chugging along ever since.

    Now I have a day-time job to even out the extreme ups and downs of a 100% commission job, and sell life insurance in the evenings. I am working to break even this year and get out of the debt I accumulated during the hard times, of which I haven't had a positive net worth since I was 20. After I pay my debts, my plan is to save a boatload of money and get ready to go back into selling life insurance full-time.

    Just today I had a client I made a $1200 commission off of cancel their policies with me. That sucked. Plus none of my new leads that came in this week want to set appointments with me. That sucks, too.

    I guess I figure life's tough anyway. Might as well think big if you're gonna think at all. Hope springs eternal and all that, right? The thing to remember is to (a) keep in perspective all the tough stuff makes you stronger and more capable, and (b) the rough spots in life help you realize that you must continually prospect!
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  • Profile picture of the author RockNRolla
    I got back from a long holiday in South Africa last year to realise that my main income generating method had taken a severe down turn and I needed to act fast to get something else up and running fast to bring some money in.

    This desperate situation sparked me in to action and less than 2 weeks after arriving home, I had landed a monthly SEO contract with the largest company in it's industry in the country that I live in.

    Now I wasn't exactly at rock bottom before getting it, but time was running out fast. The thing that annoys me the most is that as soon as I got the contract, I kind of slipped in to a comfortable mode again when I should've really kept on driving on to get new clients. It's true what they say about staying hungry and not getting complacent, lesson learnt!
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    • Profile picture of the author RyanLester
      Originally Posted by RockNRolla View Post

      I got back from a long holiday in South Africa last year to realise that my main income generating method had taken a severe down turn and I needed to act fast to get something else up and running fast to bring some money in.

      This desperate situation sparked me in to action and less than 2 weeks after arriving home, I had landed a monthly SEO contract with the largest company in it's industry in the country that I live in.

      Now I wasn't exactly at rock bottom before getting it, but time was running out fast. The thing that annoys me the most is that as soon as I got the contract, I kind of slipped in to a comfortable mode again when I should've really kept on driving on to get new clients. It's true what they say about staying hungry and not getting complacent, lesson learnt!
      South Africa! My home. Where in SA were you Jamie? Did you visit Cape Town?
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    • Profile picture of the author sebski22
      Originally Posted by RockNRolla View Post

      I got back from a long holiday in South Africa last year to realise that my main income generating method had taken a severe down turn and I needed to act fast to get something else up and running fast to bring some money in.

      This desperate situation sparked me in to action and less than 2 weeks after arriving home, I had landed a monthly SEO contract with the largest company in it's industry in the country that I live in.

      Now I wasn't exactly at rock bottom before getting it, but time was running out fast. The thing that annoys me the most is that as soon as I got the contract, I kind of slipped in to a comfortable mode again when I should've really kept on driving on to get new clients. It's true what they say about staying hungry and not getting complacent, lesson learnt!
      Amen to that...Complacency is my biggest issue. I tend to have a couple of great successes and then take it easy. But this attitude is causing me a lot additional stress. I know if I don't change things soon, i'll be slaving away back in a 9-5.

      Staying hungry buddy...its the key and thanks for pointing it out, you opened my eyes a little there.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I hit the absolutely rock bottom. It was impossible to go any lower at one point. BUT I can say that 8 years later, life is very different. It still scares me that it happened and maybe that is a "good thing" in a way. You learn from every experience.
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  • Yes, I guess I have. I just didn't know it at the time. But in retrospect I would say yes.

    I learned to be more practical, durable and responsible over many many moons thereafter!

    LLS
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    After moving to the US in 2009, I had to sit the year out in the immigration process not allowed to work (I could have done some freelancing online, but didn't know it) until August 2010. At that point, with no contacts, no inertia, no cash flow, I had to completely start over.

    I could still interview well, but chances were few and far between in a recovering economy. My confidence was low compared to normal and skills had rusted. Starting over with no bank account, no credit, no contacts is a tough thing to do, but if I hadn't made the move I would never have heard internet marketing. Took me another year to start doing some online freelancing jobs. And then I finally, finally took action on going to this Warrior Forum thing and figuring it out.

    You can have all the skills in the world, but if you don't know how to package and market them they are useless. The journey in IM is a lot about learning how self-reliant you can be. I had run consultancy businesses before, but not this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    I think we've all hit rock-bottom at some point. For everyone, that "rock bottom" can mean different things but it's no less serious if it's YOU that perceives yourself to be at the "bottom".

    The hard thing to grasp is that financial troubles are only money problems. They can't eat you. You will survive them.

    If you're afflicted with cancer or another serious malady that is a truly life-changing experience that will teach you that financial troubles are actually very minor.

    Joegolfer hinted at a good approach to failure - you've succeeded in finding one more way that doesn't work.

    The trick is to keep trying.

    All the best,

    Sasha.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      I've been through 2 bankruptcies and
      had Shingles.

      Beat them all!

      Toughest was Shingles.

      Woke up to it.

      There was no signs of it but it hits you.
      over night.

      Got it in my left temple.

      Caused a mark on my eye which I was in and out of hospital with it.

      Would get what seemed like electric shocks happen randomly around the temple.
      Had to let out a yelp with the pain of them.

      Got tinnitus at the same time where the ringing in your ears is constant.
      Lived with sleep deprivation.

      Got Glaucoma around the same time.

      Got celulitis twice while recovering which had me in hospital.

      Energy was shot. Took me all my energy to walk to the toilet.

      My thinking was shot.

      Couldn't think straight or exert much memory.

      Had aches in knees and ankles.

      Beat them all those health issues in a year!

      Oh except Glaucoma.

      My mind is sharper than ever now.

      It's been about 18 months now that
      I got my mind back.

      That's what Shingles can do to you.

      It's brought on by stress if you have the dormant virus in you if you got Chickenpox as a child.

      That's my story of struggles I've beaten.

      Oh I've beaten one of these too...



      One of these bulls wouldn't move, even with my pack of 5 dogs.

      So I ran at it like a mad man and it took off!.

      Thought I'd leave you with a fun thought.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I don't know if I have ever been to "bock bottom" but that is because my outlook is to see the positive and not just the negative. But let me show some of the low points and the positives in them.

    1. I grew up on welfare (mentioned this multiple times). I lived in public housing, ate the government cheese (yes for you younger people that was a real thing back in the 80's and before), and etc. It was one of the greatest times of my life honestly. The best thing is since I have lived on welfare I know the worst that can happen in the US and trust me it is way better than what most people fear.

    2. I had a bankruptcy. I had already sold my Vette but I lost two cars and a house in it. But once again I look back and it was one of the best things to happen to me. I was tired of my Grand Cherokee. My wife's (married at the time) car was a lease with too many miles. And my house was too long of a drive into work. So bankruptcy cleared my credit and got rid of things i shouldn't have bought. Once again I have no idea why people fear bankruptcy. I recommend it to anyone having serious trouble paying bills.

    3. I got divorced. But once again this was a good thing. I got married for the wrong reasons.... literally to save money on insurance since I loved sports cars (and was under 25). Getting married saved me over $1k a year so it was good but me and her are better friends then partners. Plus got my oldest daughter out of it.

    4. I knocked up a girl while dating I didn't want to be with. The positive being I got full custody of my youngest daughter.

    See my point in all this is that most people fear bad things but they are not obstacles but opportunities to learn and grow. For me they were positive experiences because of who I am. People don't want to admit they are self made unless they are rich. People like to use as an excuse that they don't have control over life. That things hold them back. For most people (including myself) the biggest thing (sometimes only thing) holding them back is themselves.
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      Yup....back in 1977 I had 2 business partners who managed to clean out the business bank account. Attorney bills ate most of my savings and my wife couldn't take the stress so one day in May of 1978, after the divorce was finalized at the main Chicago Courthouse I found myself looking up at the sky in downtown Chgo ......no home, no car, and $200 in cash in my pocket.

      I saw a sign that said, "Union Station 2 blks" with an arrow pointing the way. Went down to the station, looked up at the Board and saw a train was leaving for Denver in an hour. Bought a ticket and when I go off in Denver it reminded me of Chgo, so I looked up at the Board and saw a train was leaving for Glenwood Springs.

      Bought a ticket and the train depot was across the street from a "Rooming House". "$3 a Night or $15 a week". I went in and got a room for a week. Saw the hotel across the river looked like it was getting ready for an addition. Next morning, went over and hired on as a laborer for $25 a day.

      A few days later, after a grueling day of "physical" work, I was in the Hotel pub....tossing down some beers when I overheard some guys at a table behind me talking about how they were getting ready to get a radio station started in town.

      I remembered a radio station in the Chicago suburb I lived in had a promotion that involved local people putting "Bumper Stickers" with the radio call letters, on their cars.

      I went to the local drugstore, bought a 3-ring binder, some paper and plastic page protectors, a few pens and a Red Magic Marker.

      That night I put together a presentation for a radio promo program I called, "Bumper Bucks". Called in "sick" the next morn and went to a local jiffy-printer and had them make a sample bumper sticker. (This was pre-pc days where they had "Type-Setting" machines)

      Got the presentation put together and walked over to the new radio station office....asked to see the manager....showed him my "Promo-Program" and (since it was FREE to the station) he said...."Looks Good! Let's give it a try!"

      With that I hiked back to the printer and had the girl make me up a few more samples and some "Ad Agreements".

      Next morning I called in "sick" again and proceeded to WALK....store-to-store...showing biz owners my "Bumper Bucks" program. (13 week promo for $495 with $250 deposit and balance when program was ready to go)

      And....that day I sold 6 spots (6 x $250 = $1500) Went to local bank and opened an account. (Thank God!) down to my last $20.

      Walked over to the construction office and quit. Wound up selling 20 biz at $495 (20 x $495 = $9,900) Spent $1,000 for printing and typesetting.

      Met a guy at the Pub who was looking for a roommate in his 2 bedrm "riverside" cottage.

      Saw an ad in local paper for a Jeep for $350. Bought the jeep and that was the start of my "Advertising" career.

      What I learned from this experience was;
      Business owners NEED to advertise.
      I can make up "Dummy Samples" of my Ad Programs....go show them to biz owners and they WILL give me checks.

      Anyway....thanks for letting me remember a time in my life where I had "nothing to lose" and I had nowehere to go but UP....and I "crawled" out of that situation and never looked back.

      Don Alm.....
      Ohhh....that also reminds me how I met my 2nd wife.
      Went skiing in Aspen and after skiing went to the bar at bottom of slope where there was a Rock N Roll band. Saw a girl on the dance floor wearing a white T-Shirt with black letters across the front that said; "Assume Nothing!"

      As she was coming off the dance floor, I asked her; "How does a guy get a dance with you?" She looked me up an down as if I was some kind of "dumb-cluck" (which I was, at the time)

      She then said, "I'm going to the potty, you can walk with me!"

      We've been together ever since!

      Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
    I've hit rock bottom after failing at doing tech start-ups.

    I found Warrior Forum late last year (but only paid early this year) and proceeded to rapidly refine, acquire, and create new skills based on what I learned from the big dogs around here. Even some of the little ones!

    Anyone who is still at "rock bottom" 60 days after having joined WF, would certainly be better off looking for work at UPS or something.
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  • Profile picture of the author Khemosabi
    @Aaron
    Thanks! Your post made me smile. I used to look at things that have happened as failures, why, because I was "trained" that way. Not to go all "Oprah" on you folks here, but man, my father sucked at saying "good job".. on everything!

    We sold our restaurant because we didn't want it anymore, and he took that as we couldn't make it.. Anyhow, when we sold it, we carried paper. 90 days before his loan was to be ballooned, he defaulted. We foreclosed on him and to save our investment, had to take over his payments to the first lien holder. The guy we sold it to, also stole 75K of our equipment and flooded the place. That my friends was 165K of a loss! Not counting the money shelled out for a lawyer and what happens next..

    This was all at the beginning of the end for the Real Estate market. So, we tried, to no avail, to sell it. Nooooooope. I went back and re-opened it. (I lived in another state, so I had to leave my husband). What I found was a bare place, no flooring because of the flooding, and the house on the property, an old super crappy mobile, had no flooring, just plywood, a floor in the main bathroom that was sinking, and oh so much more.

    I bought the bare minimum of equipment, and some picnic tables. Now, if any of you boys can try and picture a girl with some tools trying to assemble some picnic tables... ok, here's the rest, 3 acres of land, one lawn mower 3 foot of grass. Within two weeks, I had that place open and ready to go, looking like a show place! Heck, I wasn't even open and a bunch of people stopped by to say hi and I ended up making almost 400 bucks just serving them all lunch!

    It was going super and the market crashed, not going to mention how much money we lost, but it was devastating. My little BBQ place slowed down to nothing. I went home for Thanksgiving, I hadn't seen my husband for 6 months. We decided to close it and sell it again. We did manage to do a lease/option, and for a while, the people were really doing great, then one night, they left! No note.. nothing. Then, they tried to sue US! We won, but we ended up giving the place back to the first lien holder, there are all kinds of legal issues here I am still fighting.

    Fast forward (I know, finally, right?) .. today we are re-building our empire, we have a long way to go, but what others have said, doing it yourself is so rewarding. It is NEVER EASY, and man, sometimes you just shake your head, HOWEVER, knowing your future is YOURS, is the ultimate feeling. What happens one day, can turn around the next! What you may think is a total cliff dive, can teach you how to fly!

    @Payoman... I admire your choice, and from what I've read of your posts, you'll be fine!

    No one is a failure unless they don't try. Sorry for the long post, but thanks for reading!

    ~ Theresa
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  • Profile picture of the author jspmedia
    I am hitting rock bottom now..Touched and trying to go up again...It is tough but make myself challenging..
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  • These posts show failure is a natural part of success.

    I was just reading an article somewhere that said many companies are stagnant because they stop innovating.

    They said one of the reasons is that company politics is so important nobody wants their name attached to a "mistake."

    Everybody wants to be seen as a winner at all times--never blamed for a setback.

    So the company stagnates. And gets killed in the marketplace.

    More:

    Dropbox CEO Tells MIT Graduates Failure Doesn’t Matter: ‘You Only Have to Be Right Once’
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    • Profile picture of the author ronr
      Good thread.

      I think the hardest part about hitting rock bottom is if you stay there awhile. Sometimes it happens and the hardest thing to do is keep your confidence up.

      Threads like this can help and if you have had any success in the past, to try to remember that if you had success once you can do it again.

      Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Nice thread.

    Part of my sob story is here:http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...ml#post8162847

    Food kitchens. Friends giving me money so I wan't homeless. That kind of thing.

    Anyone on the bottom needs to remember a few things in my opinion.

    1) This too shall pass - if you make it pass. You wont get out of this position by anything other than sheer willpower and tenacity. My biggest motivator was anger at myself for letting things get so bad.

    2) Some people wear failure like a badge of honor. It is not. Success is a badge of honor. Don't get so caught up in your sob story that it becomes your personal narrative. Failing sucks and IS a mark of shame. I will carry my marks of failure the rest of my life. I look at those scars when I'm feeling lazy or scared of a certain aspect of my business. Yeah I said it - things scare me sometimes. But nothing scares me as much as those scars. If you are failing - it's time to STOP. It's time to WIN.

    3) Don't blame anyone or anything but yourself. You already KNOW exactly why you are failing. You already KNOW exactly what you need to do to fix it. Face up. Straighten your back. Chastise yourself for letting it get this bad and then DO THE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO.

    4) It's a cute saying - What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. People always forget to mention that IT ALMOST KILLED YOU. Listen, there is no glory in struggling. There is no glory in sinking to the bottom. THERE IS ONLY GLORY IN WINNING.

    5) After reading this you might be mad at yourself. Good. You want to fix it? WINNING SOLVES EVERYTHING. There are no failures, mistakes, weaknesses, or pain that WINNING can't fix. WINNING CAN MAKE UP FOR ANY MISTAKE.

    Now - you fellow failures - get off the forum and go kick some ass. Grab YOUR success by the throat and make it submit to you.

    You will have to give it 110% effort - because anything less never works.
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    • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Nice thread.

      Part of my sob story is here:http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...ml#post8162847

      Food kitchens. Friends giving me money so I wan't homeless. That kind of thing.

      Anyone on the bottom needs to remember a few things in my opinion.

      1) This too shall pass - if you make it pass. You wont get out of this position by anything other than sheer willpower and tenacity. My biggest motivator was anger at myself for letting things get so bad.

      2) Some people wear failure like a badge of honor. It is not. Success is a badge of honor. Don't get so caught up in your sob story that it becomes your personal narrative. Failing sucks and IS a mark of shame. I will carry my marks of failure the rest of my life. I look at those scars when I'm feeling lazy or scared of a certain aspect of my business. Yeah I said it - things scare me sometimes. But nothing scares me as much as those scars. If you are failing - it's time to STOP. It's time to WIN.

      3) Don't blame anyone or anything but yourself. You already KNOW exactly why you are failing. You already KNOW exactly what you need to do to fix it. Face up. Straighten your back. Chastise yourself for letting it get this bad and then DO THE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO.

      4) It's a cute saying - What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. People always forget to mention that IT ALMOST KILLED YOU. Listen, there is no glory in struggling. There is no glory in sinking to the bottom. THERE IS ONLY GLORY IN WINNING.

      5) After reading this you might be mad at yourself. Good. You want to fix it? WINNING SOLVES EVERYTHING. There are no failures, mistakes, weaknesses, or pain that WINNING can't fix. WINNING CAN MAKE UP FOR ANY MISTAKE.

      Now - you fellow failures - get off the forum and go kick some ass. Grab YOUR success by the throat and make it submit to you.

      You will have to give it 110% effort - because anything less never works.
      Put me in coach.

      Also I really liked this gem from Aaron as I have never heard it said before -
      People don't want to admit they are self made unless they are rich.


      Ha Ha so true, we all have heard of self made millionaires but who claims to be a self made made bum, it was always someones elses fault as to why they couldnt succeed.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

        Put me in coach.

        Also I really liked this gem from Aaron as I have never heard it said before -

        Ha Ha so true, we all have heard of self made millionaires but who claims to be a self made made bum, it was always someones elses fault as to why they couldnt succeed.
        I was never homeless, but I've stopped working before, out of laziness.
        Any period of time where I didn't have a six figure income was always my fault.

        But I can tell you this;

        In 40 years of adult life, I've never worked in sales (if I gave it even a mediocre effort) and not made money. I believe it's impossible to make a real effort at selling something and not make a good living.

        You can't be self-employed and unemployed at the same time.

        Once, when I was married to my first wife...she paid for groceries with Food Stamps. I thought they were coupons. I'd never seen them before.

        I got so angry (mostly at myself) that I told her that we would never qualify for assistance again. And we never did.

        I was lazy, and just didn't put in the effort. So my family suffered. This is maybe 35 years ago.

        Never again.
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        • Profile picture of the author swilliams09
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I was never homeless, but I've stopped working before, out of laziness.
          Any period of time where I didn't have a six figure income was always my fault.

          But I can tell you this;

          In 40 years of adult life, I've never worked in sales (if I gave it even a mediocre effort) and not made money. I believe it's impossible to make a real effort at selling something and not make a good living.

          You can't be self-employed and unemployed at the same time.

          Once, when I was married to my first wife...she paid for groceries with Food Stamps. I thought they were coupons. I'd never seen them before.

          I got so angry (mostly at myself) that I told her that we would never qualify for assistance again. And we never did.

          I was lazy, and just didn't put in the effort. So my family suffered. This is maybe 35 years ago.

          Never again.

          Never again is my motto. I lost my job, freelance work dried up. I lost 20lbs in December of 2011 because I had no food. I couldn't afford christmas presents or even to travel and see my daughter for christmas. NEVER AGAIN. I went and got a day job and I have been slowly building my business. Last christmas was better, there was food and family and a few presents for my kid, none for anyone else. This year will be even better.
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  • Profile picture of the author ceenote100
    At one point I was homeless for about a year. I was in my early 20's. It sucked but it made me tough. Everything I learned about business I learned on the streets.
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  • Profile picture of the author club20coaching
    When you get desperate it suck! it's been a while for me sense I have seen it, but it can be very hard. I would say if things get really bad than start marketing services on craigslist. If you know how to paint than paint! if you know how to build than build. Nothing can be worse than sitting around and crying about money. Great post brother! people need to see this stuff to get support for slow times.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    It's nice to know that your not the only one who has stuggled trying to get to the top...thanks guys
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  • Profile picture of the author Writerdave
    Hitting rock bottom gives you an all new perspective on work and life in general. It builds you to be resilient, even in the face of adversities. I also think that there is only one way you can go after hitting rock bottom. The lessons learnt when you are down teach you some life lessons that keep you on the right track in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    I was lucky enough to have brick and mortar businesses in my
    20s.

    I started out with just one market stall and before long I had
    6 or 7 different businesses and around 12 full time and part
    time employees.

    That was great except I was in a tourist town and off season
    came.

    I learned how your overheads...especially rent and staff...can
    drag you down becoming a dangerous, crushing burden.

    At one time I was struggling to feed my family, behind in rent
    on my home and most of my businesses and had bills up to my
    eyeballs.

    It took me many years before I was ahead of the game again.


    I learned from that the value of keeping overheads as low as
    possible both in your business and in your personal life.

    I live in a modest house, drive a modest car that costs next to
    nothing to run and my businesses are designed to have minimal
    overheads too.

    I also try to keep good cash reserves.

    If things are slow I can survive a long, long time without having
    to struggle.

    Most people's lifestyle is so expensive they couldn't last more
    than a few weeks if their current source of income dried up.

    You should be able to last 6 months to 2 years or longer if you
    really want some peace of mind.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    I have also hit "rock-bottom"

    But what is interesting is I don't look at that as the worst time of my life.

    The time period that I do look at as the worst time in my life is when I was "Comfortable."

    When I first moved out of my parents house I had things easy because they paid for my rent, food, entertainment, etc. I didn't have to get a job. I didn't have to learn to market or sell myself, and I didn't have to learn about money, and I certainly didn't have to put in the effort to work hard to get what I wanted so I coasted.

    And I think that comfort can sometimes be more dangerous than hitting rock bottom.

    Because when you hit rock bottom and you are in that deep, you definately feel that pain, fear, frustration, anger, or whatever and you know things need to change.

    But with comfort it is familiarity, and pleasure, and a sense that everything is ok so you don't need to do anything different.

    And because I felt good, and things were easy, I lost my most valuable and precious asset and that was time.

    Feeling good feels good. And when you are comfortable you don't take actions to change or try to improve your life. In fact you don't think you need to.

    It's like the crab in a pot of water that is slowly increasing in temperature until it is too late and the crab is dead. There is not emergency signal that saves the crab telling him to jump out of the pot.

    It's the same way with comfort. There is no signal that tells you that you are going to be boiled alive so you better jump out of the pot. Instead you slowly inexorably die in a prison of comfort.

    In fact I remember reading a Tony Robbins book and there was a quote that said, "Comfort is a plushed lined coffin."

    For some reason that just triggered something in me. Maybe subconsciously I knew I was in a prison and needed to get out.

    Anyway, maybe you can call that my hitting rock bottom. But certainly not in the usual way people think about.
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    • Profile picture of the author IMBlest
      Originally Posted by shane_k View Post

      I have also hit "rock-bottom"

      But what is interesting is I don't look at that as the worst time of my life.

      The time period that I do look at as the worst time in my life is when I was "Comfortable."

      When I first moved out of my parents house I had things easy because they paid for my rent, food, entertainment, etc. I didn't have to get a job. I didn't have to learn to market or sell myself, and I didn't have to learn about money, and I certainly didn't have to put in the effort to work hard to get what I wanted so I coasted.

      And I think that comfort can sometimes be more dangerous than hitting rock bottom.

      Because when you hit rock bottom and you are in that deep, you definately feel that pain, fear, frustration, anger, or whatever and you know things need to change.

      But with comfort it is familiarity, and pleasure, and a sense that everything is ok so you don't need to do anything different.

      And because I felt good, and things were easy, I lost my most valuable and precious asset and that was time.

      Feeling good feels good. And when you are comfortable you don't take actions to change or try to improve your life. In fact you don't think you need to.

      It's like the crab in a pot of water that is slowly increasing in temperature until it is too late and the crab is dead. There is not emergency signal that saves the crab telling him to jump out of the pot.

      It's the same way with comfort. There is no signal that tells you that you are going to be boiled alive so you better jump out of the pot. Instead you slowly inexorably die in a prison of comfort.

      In fact I remember reading a Tony Robbins book and there was a quote that said, "Comfort is a plushed lined coffin."

      For some reason that just triggered something in me. Maybe subconsciously I knew I was in a prison and needed to get out.

      Anyway, maybe you can call that my hitting rock bottom. But certainly not in the usual way people think about.
      I have to say this is one of THE BEST post that I have ever read on the WF.

      You have amazing insight!!!

      I love the crab in the pot analogy.

      Thank you for posting this.
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  • I remember back in the day when I was selling computers to corporate clients--we started selling Steve Jobs' NeXT Computer. It was an amazing machine. I remember I was blown away because you could record your voice and send it as an email attachment! Hey, I said it was back in the day.

    Anyway, it was a spectacular failure. Massive. But Jobs kept going. He didn't give up. And it worked out in the end. You just have to keep moving forward. You'll get there.
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  • Profile picture of the author joeysbusiness
    thanks all .....

    very encouraging .....

    God bless
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    • Profile picture of the author ronr
      Hitting rock bottom is one of those things that you tend to think back on later and wax eleqently about the experience in almost poetic terms...."I learned so much about myself" "valuable experience" etc.

      While that may be true... while you are going through it it TOTALLY SUCKS. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
    I would go so far as to say you don't have the right to post to the Offline Forum if you didn't have a 'hard luck, I was flat broke' story to tell LOL.

    So newbies, chin up. Learn your lessons well, grasshopper!
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    • Profile picture of the author Anthem40
      Originally Posted by Talltom1 View Post

      I would go so far as to say you don't have the right to post to the Offline Forum if you didn't have a 'hard luck, I was flat broke' story to tell LOL.

      So newbies, chin up. Learn your lessons well, grasshopper!
      Meh, I hear where you are coming from,

      BUT

      If someone started making money, kept it, made more and is up several levels now, I want to hear their advice, too.
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      95% of IM'ers have great relationships with clients who also advertise offline and with other people. Stop missing out on that cash and leverage into it. PM me if you are an established marketer and want to find out how.
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      • Profile picture of the author timmykins
        I'm almost there right now! Although I have a roof over my head, I have no income (other than social), feel like I've let down myself and my kids, not sure how I'm going to afford some christmas presents for them.

        It is really strange because I know I can do this stuff, build WP sites and all that, but I find myself spending my days doubting myself and second guessing what responses I'll get from my marketing efforts, so don't do it - how stupid is that?!

        This thread has been a big kick up the back side, thanks for your contributions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Dinero
    I think almost everyone has hit rock bottom at some point in their lives. I know I have myself... the important thing is to learn from that experience
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    Having been Full Time Internet Marketer since 2007, I have had my ups and downs. I don't really have a "rock bottom" story....but what I have learned from the ups and downs, is to stay focused. Stop chasing shiny objects, create good content, build your Social Media following and your email list. Just remember, working online for a living is 100% better than having a JOB. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
    I hit rock bottom, but am slowly managing to fix the problems I created.

    I was 24 years old, had a 1 year old daughter, beautiful girlfriend (daughter's mom), paying the bills, enjoying my free time, couldn't complain. I found internet marketing by trying to start putting together my own PC repair operation on the side and, with my background, it just clicked for me.

    I worked with a partner to manage 265 sites, making $15k a month profit, each. I think you all know what happened to micro niche sites. All said and done, I had lost $20k throwing money at it, trying to fix the problems we created but in the end we were just spammers.

    After all of the updates I sold out to my partner, and went on a retirement / I'm burned out on this stuff type hiatus.

    This is where things started going downhill. My girlfriend and daughter had adjusted to a lifestyle that I was providing, that was no longer being provided, and I had no solutions. The rock that she looked to for protection could not protect her and it was because of his own actions. This was heart breaking, to say the least.

    5 months of living like this with no income and we were broke, and the bills were due. I borrowed $10,000 from my mother to start selling life insurance. I was a natural at it in the beginning. Sales fell into my lap.

    All of that success in the beginning led me to thinking the hard times were over, so I started throwing more money at this business. Spending $2,000 a week, making $3,000 profit. It was a winner.

    Well, I got complacent after about 6 months, kept a steady $1,000 a week worth of leads coming in, but only went out to close enough sales to cover gas and leads, then pissed away the rest of my savings again. After 8 months, I had enough chargebacks (cancelled policies) that I owed two different insurance companies more than $8,000 each for advanced commissions that cancelled.

    During all of this time, my girlfriend stressing constantly over the finances, my daughter being taken out of programs because we can't afford them, bills not being paid, pretty much just a very humiliating and humbling experience for a man, I got incredibly depressed, resorted to using drugs, and pulled myself away because I couldn't cope with what life was throwing at me.

    Rock bottom happened when I had spent the last of my money on drugs, had no food in the fridge, and my girlfriend was crying asking when I was going to pull it together. I couldn't even look in the mirror, look in my daughter's eyes, tell my girlfriend it was going to be OK. My brother told me to tighten up and quit feeling sorry for myself, so I did.

    4 months later I have 5 projects in motion, with 2 already showing income, and the other 3 being worked on passively until the first 2 move up.

    Thank you for reading! You can always pick yourself back up.
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    • Profile picture of the author swilliams09
      I hit rock bottom. I lost a good job, went through all of my savings while doing freelance work and trying to work various warrior forum wsos. I finally wised up and said enough. I got a freaking job. I'm on my way to paying off my debts and taking the things I learned on the WF and applying them to my side business. Would I love to be on my own 100%? Of course. Will I get there, yes. Will I put my family in jeopardy again. No. No I will not.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        A few good replies have came into this and they hit on some strong points.

        Originally Posted by swilliams09 View Post

        I got a freaking job. I'm on my way to paying off my debts and taking the things I learned on the WF and applying them to my side business. Would I love to be on my own 100%? Of course.
        One thing I see here a lot and I have commented on multiple times is that people seem to like working for themselves more than working a "job". Nothing wrong with that but too many think it is easier to work for themselves vs. someone else. And if you are doing it right, at least in the beginning, that is the opposite of reality. Working for yourself offers greater rewards because it is harder.

        When you treat it like it is easier and you don't get results that is why. When you are a one man show you wear many hats.
        • Employee: You have to do the work
        • Manager: You have to make sure the employee (you) does the work.
        • Salesman: You have to sell the services/products
        • Sales Manager: You have to set sales goals and hold the Salesman (you) accountable
        • Marketing Manager: You have to create marketing that helps sell the product/service.
        • Accounting: You have to handle the money side of the business
        • Accounts Payable/Billable Clerk: You have to make sure the bills are paid and payments collected
        • CEO: You have to set the course for your business and hold your managers (still you) accountable for results.
        Now does all of that sound easier than getting a job? Of course not. The advantage of owning a business is that one day you can hire people to do those things for you. But till you get to that point you have to put in the work.


        Originally Posted by insuranceguy View Post

        Rock bottom happened when I had spent the last of my money on drugs, had no food in the fridge, and my girlfriend was crying asking when I was going to pull it together. I couldn't even look in the mirror, look in my daughter's eyes, tell my girlfriend it was going to be OK. My brother told me to tighten up and quit feeling sorry for myself, so I did.
        I'd offer you three more pieces of advice based on what you said here (didn't quote the whole post).

        1. Choose something and commit to it: Please take a moment and really read your post.
        • You found internet marketing while trying to restart a computer repair business.
        • You had your partner buy you out when internet marketing got hard.
        • You stopped selling insurance after the easy sales were done.
        • Now you have 5 projects going on.
        I think you need to take time and focus more. You likely could have been successful at many of the things you gave up on.

        2. Admit Your Lazy: First I too am lazy and being lazy isn't always a bad thing. In fact being lazy can make you very successful if you focus your engery on doing the things that will give you the most bang for the buck. Also you will find it easier to hire others to do the work since you don't care if you can do it better all you care about is not having to do it. But in your case lazy seems to be part of a pattern leading to failure.

        • You could have been a successful insurance salesman but you admit you didn't take all the appointments you could have.
        • You could have continued on with Internet Marketing but rolled with the changes.
        • You could have used Internet Marketing to market your computer repair company.
        • You could have done something for those months after the internet marketing thing vs. just waiting for money to run out.
        • Also you could have chased natural highs vs. the lazy high that comes from drugs.
        You are not always chasing money. You are chasing the easy money. You find the low hanging fruit but give up when it becomes challenging. This ties in with point #1. I think "lazy" is a big part of why you don't stay committed to one thing. When it gets hard you turn and run or throw money at the problem (point #3).


        3. Stop Throwing Money at Problems: You have a dangerous pattern (at least it appears) of throwing money at problems without regard for ROI. You need to pretend those dollars are soldiers. Yes you will lose some but the vast majority should go to war and bring you back more.

        • You threw $20k at your micro site problem and got no results.
        • You threw $10k at a life insurance career that you changed your mind on.
        • You threw $2,000 a week at lead gen to make $3,000 (before chargebacks)
        You must stop yourself from throwing your money away like that.

        The fact you keep having so much success shows how much potential you have. You might be one of the most successful people here if you just took the time to see the patterns. You just need to...
        • Focus & Commit: Find something that works and work past setbacks.
        • Use Your Lazy Nature: Find the 20% that gives 80% of results. Scale your business by having others do the work.
        • Invest Wisely: Become a more conservative investor focused on ROI. This is like lazy but for your finances. Never put a dollar out to work unless it serves a purpose.
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        • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
          Let me start by saying thank you for taking the time out, Aaron.

          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

          A few good replies have came into this and they hit on some strong points.

          I'd offer you three more pieces of advice based on what you said here (didn't quote the whole post).

          1. Choose something and commit to it: Please take a moment and really read your post.
          • You found internet marketing while trying to restart a computer repair business.
          • You had your partner buy you out when internet marketing got hard.
          • You stopped selling insurance after the easy sales were done.
          • Now you have 5 projects going on.
          I think you need to take time and focus more. You likely could have been successful at many of the things you gave up on.
          I never owned a PC biz... I wanted to work for myself and knew how to repair computers, so I started learning how to market it, and found IM.

          That niche site business I had was trashed. We, literally, spammed every site we owned, so there was no bringing it back. My partner threw even more money after trying to get it to recover and he's since let all the sites expire. That was a smart move on my part, I feel like. Remember, I did that for 3 years -- not exactly bouncing around.

          I didn't like selling insurance. I admit I was lazy, and it was my downfall. That is a problem that I do have. If I'm not interested in something, I'm not going to be able to work on it. I worked it until I made a bunch of money, and then got bored when I had got out of the financial problems I had. That's a typical human scenario -- not staying hungry -- and I admit was one of my downfalls.

          You may be right about being spread too thin.

          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


          2. Admit Your Lazy: First I too am lazy and being lazy isn't always a bad thing. In fact being lazy can make you very successful if you focus your engery on doing the things that will give you the most bang for the buck. Also you will find it easier to hire others to do the work since you don't care if you can do it better all you care about is not having to do it. But in your case lazy seems to be part of a pattern leading to failure.

          • You could have been a successful insurance salesman but you admit you didn't take all the appointments you could have.
          • You could have continued on with Internet Marketing but rolled with the changes.
          • You could have used Internet Marketing to market your computer repair company.
          • You could have done something for those months after the internet marketing thing vs. just waiting for money to run out.
          • Also you could have chased natural highs vs. the lazy high that comes from drugs.
          You are not always chasing money. You are chasing the easy money. You find the low hanging fruit but give up when it becomes challenging. This ties in with point #1. I think "lazy" is a big part of why you don't stay committed to one thing. When it gets hard you turn and run or throw money at the problem (point #3).
          I'm the first to admit I'm lazy. I have work ethic, but my dream my entire life has been to earn as much for doing the least possible. It's a blessing, and a curse. IM makes it possible, though. I don't consider building a website "work".

          When I had the business for 3 years, I never got complacent or lazy, I put in a steady 40-80 hours a week, every work. The only downfall we had with that business was chasing a shortcut, but we were both 100% new to IM, so we didn't know the true impact what we were doing was going to have.

          I'm also not understanding this "committed to one thing" statement. Working on the same project for 3 years is staying committed in my book. Working for the last 4 months on the same projects, with very little return -- is committed in my book. Please don't get me confused with a typical IM newb. I don't have shiny object syndrome.

          Anyone could have done something for those months, until you realize you are a human being and I am too. I consider myself pretty strong, but when you lose a business generating $15,000 a month, and literally do not have the energy, it will take a toll on anyone. When you think about how many hours, and dollars, went into building that business, and then think about where you were at with zero income afterwards, it would have an impact on you too.

          The natural highs vs lazy high, yeah I'm not proud of what I did, but decisions I've made have made me who I am today. I learned more about myself in the time I spent doing drugs than I have in a long time. Was it right? No. Would I do it again? Hopefully not.

          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


          3. Stop Throwing Money at Problems: You have a dangerous pattern (at least it appears) of throwing money at problems without regard for ROI. You need to pretend those dollars are soldiers. Yes you will lose some but the vast majority should go to war and bring you back more.

          • You threw $20k at your micro site problem and got no results.
          • You threw $10k at a life insurance career that you changed your mind on.
          • You threw $2,000 a week at lead gen to make $3,000 (before chargebacks)
          You must stop yourself from throwing your money away like that.
          How do you build a business, or recover a failing business, then? I mean, if you wouldn't say "at least it appears" I would almost be offended at the assumptions.

          The $2,000 per week was in leads, gas, and food for selling insurance.

          My lead gen site is strolling along smoothly. I've only spent $118 on it so far, between the domain, hosting, and some paid traffic. It's already produced almost $3,000 in income.

          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


          The fact you keep having so much success shows how much potential you have. You might be one of the most successful people here if you just took the time to see the patterns. You just need to...
          • Focus & Commit: Find something that works and work past setbacks.
          • Use Your Lazy Nature: Find the 20% that gives 80% of results. Scale your business by having others do the work.
          • Invest Wisely: Become a more conservative investor focused on ROI. This is like lazy but for your finances. Never put a dollar out to work unless it serves a purpose.
          Like I said above, I gotta thank you for taking the time and energy to write out a thoughtful response. I think I wasn't completely clear on everything, though. I never really "hopped" around from one thing to another. Selling insurance was a way to survive, and an admitted bad decision. Doing drugs -- very bad decision. Everything else, though, I have zero regrets.

          I may not have made the best decisions over the last 7 years, but I've made enough good ones to feel good about what I've done, in the grand scheme, and going forward. Like you said, if I could get out of my own way, I could probably see huge success. It's a work in progress.

          Again, thank you for the advice, and especially the time putting this together. I do have to say, though, the advice is stellar, but when you're in the trenches it's not always the easiest position to be able to make the "best" decisions.
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        • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
          I do appreciate it. Your post made me take a close look at exactly what has happened over the last 7 years, and for that I'm grateful.

          It's hard to articulate thoughts over the internet, and it doesn't help that my failures look so much like the failures of people who haven't even made their first dollar online. I'm not exactly the greatest at painting a clear picture, either.

          When I left IM, I knew I was going to be taking a break, but coming back. Blowing through the money wasn't planned, so I went into selling life insurance but I knew it wasn't going to be my life's path. That may have been why you thought I was bouncing around. I was just doing what I had to at the time. Those chargebacks building up forced me back into construction, and that gave me the relief needed to get my mind right, and be ready to rebuild my business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Erica Leggette
    I recently hit an internal rock bottom and a breakthrough at the same time!

    All this time, I was thinking I'm actually doing something but in reality I haven't...at least nothing that will produce the kind of results that I know is possible!

    I don't even want to go into details because it's the same story told a million times before but at first I didn't grasp the whole "you don't want it bad enough" mantra but now I'm a living testimony that if I wanted "IT" bad enough, nothing would have stopped me getting it!

    But it's not too late!

    Can't change what I don't acknowledge and I'm saying right here that I need to IMPROVE MY WORK ETHIC, STOP LOLLYGAGGING, & CHANGE THE GAME already!

    When a person don't know any better, nothing better can be expected but I know better and my mind is made up to do better!

    That's my hissy fit for the day!
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    Be easy.


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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I may have taken some of the things you said wrong as well. Hard to always give 100% correct advice when all we see if just a piece of the whole picture.

    Glad you found value in it even if it may not have hit everything on the head correctly/.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
    I hit rock bottom and it wasn't until I started giving back to God that things turned around for me. Now I give above my tithes no matter what and God continues to bless me.

    That may sound fanciful, but it's the truth. I was literally down to my last $10. Nothing I was doing was working and I lost 2 service jobs the month previous that was keeping me afloat.

    Up to that time, I helped beggars now and then, but just giving a straight tenth of my income to God right off the top? No way!

    So with that last $10 I gave half of it to a Church. A few days later I landed my first offline customer. That paid the rent and bills. Then I picked up another about a week after that. Kept giving to God and kept going.

    It hasn't been smooth sailing all the way from that time, but I owe my current success to God, and that is a fact.

    Edit: I want to add here (for the skeptics) - that first client was not from my pursuit of a client. I had a classified ad posted, and this guy just out of the blue contacted me because we were in the same niche and he thought my thumbnail for the ad was cool and asked if I was getting any response because he was having a tough time.
    Then we talked about his business and I sold him on setting up a membership site for him to go along with his current site. Went from almost completely broke to $2400 just like that.
    It wasn't until after that when I started really looking into how to do offline marketing, sales closing and so on...
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