Wow has it ever been a year :). This 200th post seems special for some reason. Special enough that I’ve put it off and worked on 2 different drafts over the past few days, something which I never do. This will be last serious chance I have to write this year and there’s a lot of things to say.
And so without further ado, let’s take a look back over 2005 and share in a few of my experiences. Lights. Camera..
January 12, 2005. I stepped off the curb at L.A. International Airport.
I loaded all my luggage into the SUV. 5 Minutes later found me on the road with Amae Allen headed to my new home in Venice, California. This was our first meeting. Amae and I met through a mutual friend who knew her through her father, Robert Allen (he’s written a few awesome books, check ’em out). Amae was looking for someone to help her out with some web design work and I was looking for a place to stay. A perfect match! To top that off, not only is Amae a vegetarian like me, but she’s an incredible vegan chef.
I spent just around 2 months there. I learned how to design webpages in CSS, learned a LOT about web hosting (hostingfrog), learned a lot about how to make delicious and healthy meals (now to apply that knowledge ;), and, I even learned a lot about myself.
Amae took great care of me while I was there. I had my own little room, only a few blocks away from Venice Beach and the boardwalk. I had plenty of awesome food and a lot of time to work on web design and brush up on my photoshop skills. You can read back in January of 2005 to get an idea of some of the things I was up too back then ;). I wrapped up things in Venice and then it was on the road again.
March 15, 2005. I got on the bus in Manila, Philippines.
It was humid! After meeting up with my girlfriend and a few new friends of mine in LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), we boarded the plane and were off to the philippines on a 10 day mission project!
THAT was an experience. We all worked very VERY hard and it was worth every minute of our time and more. Of the 130+ young people that went, we divided our efforts towards building projects, medical projects, and ministry projects through things like ‘vacation bible school’ for the kids. The medical team alone serviced over 6000 people while we were there. It was incredible!
I worked with the kids for most of the time. My awesome new friends and I (we called ourselves the ‘specials’!) put together some great programs and had a LOT of fun. On our last day, we brought all the kids together and had over 1000 kids in one HUGE area!
More than half the kids on the trip were Canadian ;).. *smiles*.. Those guys were so much fun. One of my best memories is the final program we put on for the kids. Towards the end of that program we all went through and sang our national anthems. The philippine kids did theirs first. Wow. 1000+ kids singing in harmony. Beautiful. The Canadians went next. A good friend of mine, Donny, wore my American Flag leather jacket, his back with the embroidered flag facing the audience.. *grins*.. And THEN.. it was the American’s turn. Yeah. It was bad. The Canadians had to help us with OUR anthem. Ok, so many of them were in a choir and they had a lot of practice, but still. It was so much fun :).
It was tough leaving. I really really miss those kids. One of the Philippino boys, JT, sticks out most in my memory. He was an awesome kid, hope he’s still doing well :). You’ve got a bright future ahead of you JT, all the very best to you :).
March 30th, 2005. Welcome To Portland Oregon.
The airport in Portland is beautiful. As you make your way to the baggage claim, you go by a bunch of beautiful artwork, spread all throughout the airport. It’s all very well designed and makes you want to smile, reflective of a city that has a charm about it which can’t quite be described.
Portland really is beautiful. Look back through my blog entries and you’ll find some pictures. The waterfalls, the trees, the grass, the sky, the architecture, and even the people. Ted and I described the people as having more of a ‘rustic’ beauty.. *smiles*.. but it’s still a beauty ;).
Ted Schneck. He’s someone I won’t ever be forgetting. Ted’s right up there as one of the most influential people in the past 3 years of my life. It was during my short month-and-a-halfish stay up in Oregon that my life as an entrepreneur started to take a serious turn for the better.
I began making money.. passively.
There’s a difference between making money, and making it passively. I had turned down high paying jobs up in the past because I knew there was something better. Ted helped me take all the things I’d been learning, all my experiences, all the foundations that had been prepared and built up by the many other wonderful people in my past, Ted helped me take all that and move things up a notch. I opened up a Google AdSense account, put it up on a few new websites of mine, and, taking the new concepts that Ted taught me, I began making money. Life picked up its pace.
June 9th, 2005. 19 Years Old.
I’d just helped my dear girlfriend and her family finish up a move from Arizona out to the beautiful state of Oklahoma. Today was my birthday. Joslyn woke me up, gave me a good morning hug, and that was the start of an awesome day. We had breakfast and a really awesome birthday dinner. I had a great time :). There’s nothing like being around people you love and who you know love you.
That was the first time I’d been away from my family for my birthday. That part of it was tough. I missed seeing my mom. I missed being around my brothers. Things work out though. Things worked out and I’m growing up, even though it feels like it happens so slowly sometimes. Joslyn has really made a huge difference in my life. Getting the chance to spend some time with her around my birthday and help out her family was awesome.. I love you so much Joslyn :).
September 15, 2005. The Internet Marketing Main Event.
Phoenix, Arizona. The weather was beautiful. My dear friends and mentors, Donna Fox and Paulie Sabol, were hosting two events simultaneously! Donna was running the ‘Credit Millionaire Mastery’ event and Paulie was running the ‘Internet Marketing Main Event’. Both events were INCREDIBLE and I was honored to be a part of them. I learned a LOT and met some incredible people at the event.
On stage, Paulie introduced me as a young man earning $4000+ a month with AdSense. Yeah. I’d gone a long ways since Ted’s :). I’d broken personal record after personal record and there was still no sign of stopping.
Things calmed down since then. A few of my sites stopped doing so well and a bunch of other priorities caught up my time. That didn’t matter though. I now had the knowledge, the knowing that I could make money and do it again, over and over, and that knowledge was priceless.
December 2, 2005. $1000 in 24 Hours.
I took the knowledge I’d been gaining and put it into action! December 2nd is a day I won’t be forgetting anytime soon :). That $1000 was made through the sales of my very first product! All the things I’d been learning and taking action finally lead me up to a point where it was time to take it up to the next level. I did it! I created my first product and it was an incredible success.
I owe that success to my friends, to the people who supported me. I would NOT have been have able to do it without you guys! It’s the incredible people I’ve been meeting, the relationships I’ve been building, that all came together and gave me the support I needed to step out and take action. Wow, what an experience that was :). Today, December 27th, that product finished its short life cycle, selling out the last of my limited 35 copies.
December 27, 2005. Today.
And that brings me to this very moment. The weather outside is beautiful. I’ve been living in Northwest Indiana since the middle of June, 2005. Just a few days ago, I moved into a new apartment, which I’ll be sharing with my dear friend Matt Geri when we get back from Tahoe towards the end of January. I’ve spent the past few days getting things moved in and organized. It’s gone well :). I had an awesome Christmas!
In just a few minutes I’ll be picking up my car from the body shop, had to get the heat fixed ;). The pastor from my local Adventist Church is gonna be taking me over to pick it up and then we’re going to talk about some plans for the youth group in this next year. I’m looking forward to that! Pastor Shepherd’s an awesome guy.
Yesterday, I wrapped up a few of my niche website projects. As many of you guys know, I’m really strong into niche marketing right now :). I look for needs in the market and build websites, products, communities, etc, to meet those needs. Yesterday, I added in a bunch of new content to my cash advance website. I also did a bunch of updating on my debt blogging site. And finally, I did some work on moldblogger.com. There’s a rather ‘humorous’ post by a new writer of mine.. he uhm.. well ;). Read the ‘mold jokes’ post for yourself and see.
It’s been an emotional year for me
Anytime that you have a lot of growth, you have to have just as many if not more challenges. I’ve definitely had those and more times than I’d like, they’ve gotten the best of me. 2005 came with a LOT of growth and just as much pain. Those challenges, though, are what help you grow. You can’t grow without them!
I had some rough experiences. I had projects that didn’t work out anything like I wanted them too, I had things that I dealt with within my family, and the biggest challenges of all were within my personal life. They can reallly really get you.
It’s the times when I’m feeling the most down, though, that I really just have to stop and think about things and put them in perspective. I don’t have anything to complain about. I’ve been given SO much opportunity. I’ve been blessed to meet so many incredible people. I’ve been able to learn, absorb and take action. I’ve been absolutely blessed and I can’t complain.
I’m excited about next year!
There are a few key things I’m setting out to accomplish next year. The rest is stuff that I’m sure I couldn’t even begin to imagine yet :).
First, I’m taking my very first ‘vacation’ as an independent adult. (Wow, what a phrase!)
Matt Geri and I are taking a 2 week vacation up to Lake Tahoe, California, to go snowboarding at the Heavenly Ski Resort. I’m REALLY looking forward to that. We’re going to have a lot of fun and do a lot of planning :). 2006 is going to be a huge year for both of us.
I’m creating more products next year. In January I’ll be launching my second product, which I’ll be sharing more about as I get the chance. January is a huge month for information products and I’m excited to be kicking it off with an offering of my own. Look forward to that :)!
I may be speaking at a seminar! My good friend and mentor, Paulie Sabol, is working with another seminar next June, and he’s invited me to be a speaker at that event. We haven’t worked out the details yet and I haven’t decided if I’m going to go for it yet, but the opportunity is there. It’s incredible opportunity and however it works out, I’m excited about it :).
And finally, in 2006, I’ve set a financial goal for myself. My goal is to earn $250,000 in net income by the end of 2006. I want to be able to give away more money in 2006 through tithe and other things I come up with than I’ve made in my entirely life, put together. That’ll have me giving away close to $50,000 over the course of 2006. I’m REALLY excited about that goal and excited about making it happen. 2006 is going to be an incredible new year and I’m grateful for the opportunity to take it on :).
I’m also excited about sharing the next year with YOU guys!
In 2005 I met so many incredible people. I look forward to sharing my experiences and spending time with each of you, many of whom I know well, some I don’t, and some I haven’t even had a chance to meet yet. It’s the people we meet in life that make all the difference, that shape us, that make us who we are. I’ve been honoured and priviledged to get to know each and every one of you. I look forward eagerly to sharing in YOUR experiences and in watching your growth througout the next year.
And with that, I’m off. I’ll be checking back on around the 3rd or so of January, 2006. I’m off to Tennessee for a few days and then California!
2006 will be what we make it, so let’s make 2006 the very BEST year of our lives :).
Looking forward to it! Cya next year!