*Disclaimer: this post gets personal. It gets human. It gets deep*
“The average CEO reads 52 books per year” – Inc magazine.
Well, I’m here today to tell you: You don’t need to. In fact, sometimes all you need is a ⅕ of a book. Or a blog post. Or a Youtube video.
One single concept can swing a big door in your mind which will ultimately change your life for the better, forever.
Think I’m exaggerating?
Let me ask you this:
How much do you want to make from your website(s) per month? $500? $1,000? 10,000?
How did you choose that number? Was it just a nice, round number that in your mind maybe paid for your monthly bills, your rent, or even replace your current income? Maybe the number sounds “so big” that it’s “a dream” and you would live “like a baller, crushing it every day”?
$10k seems to be a recurring number between many in this industry.
Do you prefer 1 site making $10k or 10 sites making $1k? You’ve probably participated on that debate. My answer is “neither”.
My answer is: I want $16,500 per month on affiliate commissions (net, dead to my pocket), regardless how many sites it takes me to get there. And I’m certain I’ll get there, sooner or later.
How did I come with that number, and why am I so sure I’ll get there?
I defined “success” for myself. Then I defined life, in an idealistic way for myself, and calculated the math aka “how much does this cost?”. And 16.5k net/month was the answer
I know it’s achievable, I know it HAS to be affiliate only (more on this in a second), and I know WHY I want that number. Hence, I know I’ll get there.
Where does this thing come from anyway? It comes from the E-Myth, a book every entrepreneur should read.
But, with a hint of honesty, I didn’t finish the whole book. Last sections weren’t relevant for me at the time.
The first part, however, changed completely the way I look at my online ventures now.
And that part talks about defining what you want in life. And then knowing how much that costs. See where I come from now right?
And I believe that defining success for yourself is the single most important thing you can do today, for your online ventures to become, well, successful. Spoiler: money isn’t success. But it’s sometimes needed for some of the things that will make you feel successful. Let’s talk about this.
What Makes You Thrill in Life?
This is the key question.
What makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, excited, fulfilled, purposeful, and at peace?
While happiness doesn’t have a single definition that fits everyone, we can agree that the feelings above are all related to feeling “happy”.
List those things.
Don’t lie to yourself, no one else is going to read your list but you. If you’re having a hard time coming with things (this is no easy exercise when you’re on a bad mood or going through rough times, but it's necessary) think about moments on the past when you felt good. Where you laughed, where you felt joy, excitement. What were you doing?
Now, leave only those that are non-negotiable. Things that you feel like you NEED to have in your life or it would lose its meaning. Those go in the center. The rest go around.
Here are the things that make me happy in life.
The List of Success
- Freedom (t’ + $)
- Being healthy (good diet, good fitness)
- Taking care of the people I love
- Helping strangers
- High-end experiences
- Learning languages
At the top is the one thing I value the most in life: Freedom. This is key. The rest go from higher to lower priority, bearing in mind that these are nonetheless, the things I do really care about in life, so they’re all important.
You’ll see 2 that are quite materialistic. For as long as they are true, not just “nice”, it’s cool to have them there. Don’t be “ashamed” either. If you care a lot about supercars or designer handbags, that’s cool. No one is going to see your list anyway so don’t worry about being judged by others.
So when I look at my little list of things that make me happy in life, I understand clearly this:
If I have financial freedom and freedom to spend my time in whichever way I want, and I have good friends in life, I’m taking care of the ones I love, I’m travelling, I’m experiencing the nice things from life, riding bikes, learning languages, keeping my health on point and helping others, I am hence, successful in life.
Btw, the same day I was going through this exercise, this video popped up in my YouTube feed:
Which goes through the exact same concept. From no-one else than Matthew McConaughey, which we could agree, is quite a successful man. But does he consider himself successful? You’ll have to watch the video to know I guess 😀
Why $16,500 Per Month
When I look at the life I want to live, in an idealistic way, it costs that much. Here are the elements I listed:
- Housing: x,xxx (rent)
- Food: xxx (regular meals, not counting restaurant meals)
- Gym: xx
- Insurance: xxx
- Motorcycles: x,xxx (say buy a new one and pay it in 24 months, + maintenance + gas)
- Entertainment: x,xxx
- Traveling: x,xxx
- Clothing: xxx
- Family support: x,xxx (times 2)
- Savings: x,xxx (20% of all of the above combined)
Total: $13,000. Now put tax into the equation and it works at around $16,500 per month. Your numbers my differ brutally from mine (up or down) We're all different. That's cool.
When you create this list, you need to be extremely detailed with each element. How does your ideal home look like? and where is it?
Which country, city and area would you ideally want to live at? Do some research online and write the number down. (I’m not saying lavish tho! I really mean a home that feels “perfect” for you. I for instance don’t need or want a 12 br Mansion in Beverly Hills. What for?)
Mine came down to about $2,000. For those of you in the US or most of Europe that’ll sound ridiculous but southeast asia is cheap for the most part and that’s where I genuinely want to live (and I do)
Same for your everyday expense on food. The bike or car you want to ride, etc. Kids if you have or plan to have any they need food, books, clothing… some things you’ll write down the number and feel stupid. “How am I going to spend 500 a month on clothes?” is what some people may realize.
Well, a nice pair of leather shoes from Italy can run that much very easily. Lets say your brother gets married and you want to be dressed your very sharpest. There ya go. And that’s only shoes… We’re talking about an idealistic lifestyle here, not a lifestyle that’s just better than the one you have now.
When you take the time to define those, you will start making a clear picture of everything inside that “ideal life”. The picture will become very vivid. It should make you shiver. It should make you want to scream “f**k yes that’s what I want”.
And not something like dropshipping or an SEO/FB ads agency? (Which I could run with the skills gained over this time)
Because of the first element on my list of priorities. I value freedom the most. I value TIME freedom the most. Dealing with clients/customers can suck A LOT of time.
So I looked at all the possible online business models and affiliate is the least time-intensive ONCE the business has been built.
Meaning I can have the income mentioned above with the help of just 1 or 2 VAs, a few hours of work a week managing email and checking progress/stats, and know that I can go offline for 5 days in a row and the income won't move an inch.
Try going a full week offline if you're running an eCommerce business and see what happens (unless you have a ton of systems in place and the right team to execute…)
Don't take me wrong, those are fantastic businesses and I am in fact involved into eCommerce aswell, but as a side thing that I'm slowly growing. And my main focus there is also systems so I don't have to actually work the business
How long do you think it’ll take you to bring your business to that level of income so it can sponsor that lifestyle?
Hint: It’ll take longer than you think. And a lot longer than most are willing to wait.
But it’ll be well worth the hustle. Think of that picture again. That’s it, that's the reward. It may take you another 5 or 6 years to be there. And that’s fine.
Let me tell you, the grind is a lot better than doing oil changes for $6 an hour or serving tables 12h a day. Is better than a meaningless, soul crushing 9 to 5 in an office. I’ve done them all, and I wasn’t happy. So, be ready.
Ready for months of s**t affiliate commissions, a few years of non-stop grind while things slowly pick up. Ready for a lot of reading, testing, learning, and tweaking along the way.
Be ready to play the long-term game.
How to Play the Game and Win
You’re going to need 3M’s to win the long term game. All three.
First, understand that the grind only makes sense if you know where it’s leading you to, that’s why we did the above exercise.
You will get sidetracked. Shiny object syndrome is a thing. Life will happen. Plenty of events will try to push you out of your way to that ideal life you want to create for yourself.
Do not forget what you work for. Do not forget what makes you happy in life.
Don’t buy a 2nd hand BMW with your affiliate commissions just yet, if 2nd hand BMWs aren’t in your list of success, because you could be re-investing that money and get faster to your goal.
Do enjoy the process. Realize that each misstep, each roadblock, each slow month, each win along the way, it’s meant for you to learn from it and become a better marketer.
In one month you’ll laugh at your today’s roadblocks with your site.
(Well, that’s if you’re putting in the work 😉 )
No one succeeds alone. And even if there is an outlier out there for you to rebate that sentence, who wants to make it alone anyway? The entrepreneurial path is lonely. It's full of hardship, and it’s confusing. Everyone will give all the advice but take none of the risk. Don’t listen to them.
Do find role models. People who’ve walked the exact path you want to walk, and learn from them. Thank heavens it’s 2018 and EVERYONE shares everything online.
Doesn’t matter which business model you thinking of getting into. Affiliate, PPL, eCommerce, dropshipping, display ads, FBA… there’s people sharing the roadmap to success. For Affiliate success, we've already did all the heavy lifting. Here's the roadmap for you.
So if you have the right mindset, and someone who to follow and teach you how to do the things you’ll need to do to achieve that income, you’re going to set yourself a mission. A goal without a plan is just a dream, so define your mission and create a set of goals from there.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”– Anatole France
When do you want this “ideal” income to happen? 1 year from now? 2 years from now? What are you going to do this month to move yourself in the right direction? This week?
Today? You need to be honest with yourself in regards to when you want things to happen, and how much skin are you going to put in the game to make them happen.
And, DON’T be realistic, because your perception of what's “realistic” right now is smaller than it will be in a years time. Set your goals, trust that they can be done and just do. If you don’t believe the goal is possible from the get-go, you’ll never take the mission seriously and you’ll fail.
Follow the teachings of your mentor, and hustle your arse off.
PS. Here are a few resources for you to go forward with:
Success Stories From HPD Clients
Michael Gerber – The E-Myth
Seth Godin's Podcast – Game Theory & The Infinite Game
Tim Ferriss – Dreamlining