When I took the leap into entrepreneurship, I wanted it all.
I wanted to create my dream business overnight, have a huge community of fans and friends, and earn millions of dollars creating products that I loved.
With no experience and a small network, these ambitions quickly failed. If I wanted to succeed, I had to adopt a new mindset. I had to figure out how to 'level up'.
If I can trace my success to one thing, if I have a specific 'superpower', it's this:
Doing work that makes you passion is important. But the word passion became a little played; while entrepreneurship is positioned to make money doing what you love. Make no mistake, you should work on doing what you love. But sometimes you'll have to go through multiple iterations of this process, working your way up to getting closer to what you want and who you want to be.
Related: 11 Things That Can Trigger Massive Success In Your Life
I graduated from college in 2009 and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I thought I had two choices:
Go back to school.
Join the corporate rat race.
The only problem was that I didn't want to be a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer – so more school didn't make sense to me. And I didn't want to do the corporate thing. Surely not.
In fact, the very idea of working in a cabin made me want to throw myself headfirst into a boiling vat of tar. Not very inspiring.
Because I refused to take the next “logical” step, I was stuck in low paying jobs, waiting tables and answering phones. I started working at a restaurant chain to make ends meet, and it sucked. I wasn't happy and I wasn't making any money. I was fed up and frustrated. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I stopped waiting tables in 2012 and immediately started preparing for the SAT tests for Kaplan. Was the prep test my #1 passion? Of course not. But it was a level above steak. And that's the point.
My hourly rate was $18. I thought it was fantastic at the time.
Was the prep test my #1 passion? Of course not. But it was a level above steak.
But then I found out that Kaplan was charging families over $100 an hour for me to come over and teach Timmy's little quadratic equations. In other words, I was making $100 of work and Kaplan was taking $82 out of my pocket.
At that point I realized that I I had a viable skill that people had proven they would pay me for, and I decided to take it to the next level. I started my own test prep business, effectively cutting out the middleman and reaping all the benefits.
I learned that I didn't have to start from scratch. Rather than scouring Craigslist for clients, I cut the line and did business with private admissions coaches who prepare high school students for their essays, interviews, and packaging themselves.
I found myself sold well and became their in-house test prep teacher. Everyone won. Instantly I went from having no customers to having a treasure trove of them overnight.
From there I decided to level up. I was bored of test prep, but realized how much I loved business and marketing.
I started freelancing online and learned how to earn money. money using skills I already had. Along the way, I learned how to position myself in a saturated market, write valuable copies and close sales. I eventually started a web development business that started pulling six figures in a year.
Related: What Successful Freelancers Know About Earning Six Figures
At that point, I realized there was something to this online business thing. I started devouring all the information I could find on entrepreneurship, startups, email marketing, copywriting, sales funnels, building an audience and more.
Then I made the best decision of my life and created Rich20Something, my personal blog where I could write about my experience of 20 years of frustrated something knowing there had to be more to life than the 9 at 5. I found an audience. Or rather, they found me.
Soon after, I started working with startups like I Will Teach You to Be Rich, The Art of Charm and Pavlok – as an employee in some cases and consultant in others. They led me to develop in-depth marketing strategies and funnel positioning to help them separate themselves from the pack, as well as write copy.
From these experiences, I gained the inside scoop on what it takes to dominate an online business. I knew I was ready.
In 2014, I progressed and took the leap to go full time with Rich20Something. I handled it entirely on my own.
There was no turning back. I wrote and wrote and wrote and created a following by giving away all my content for free. I have made money creating digital information products and teaching young people how to build their own freelance business and online startup.
Today I have built a full team to support my vision of empowering 1 million millennials to embrace their inner entrepreneur.
When I look around me, I still can't believe what I've accomplished. I have a team of three full-time employees, three interns, a few part-time employees, and dozens of service providers that I depend on every week for various tasks.
I made a career for myself that never existed not before – the ultimate win.
And I even wrote a book about it.
Are you looking forward to chasing your entrepreneurial dreams? Stop living life on someone else's terms and take it to the next level.
Related: Quiz:Do you have the entrepreneurial mindset?