There was a point in time where I didn’t know that I wanted to do what I do now.
It was how I made my living, and I was happy doing that for a long time.
Until one day I felt like something was missing. It was a dull, empty feeling. There was no longer any satisfaction in what I did.
I was making money, but that was about it.
So in 2006, I began looking for other options. At the time I was into golf. I started playing when I was 9, and I was pretty good at it.
“Why not make a website about golf and make money that way,” I thought.
I paid someone to do keyword research for me, create my website, and get everything up and running.
What I didn’t realize was that I actually had to put in work to succeed. I never did that, and I let the website expire.
There was no fuel in my tank to keep going. I wanted the silver bullet, the quick fix, and I believed it could be found.
After that, I looked for opportunities around the web. I was trying to force success and passion. It didn’t come. I ended up spending thousands on get rich quick programs and other products that I thought would give me instant success.
I bought products ranging from blogging to financial instruments. I never used most of them, because I was looking for a quick fix.
I had forgotten why I was trying to succeed online.
I began my journey trying to find something to satisfy my soul, but instead fell into the trap of prioritizing money.
I thought that if I made enough money, I would be safe, and I could do what I wanted.
Oh, how wrong I was.
But the Story Gets Better …
I built my first website when I was 14. I started trying to make money online in 2006-2007. I’ve spent over $10,000 on coaching, courses, and every other product between heaven and earth.
As I failed over and over again, I eventually stumbled upon the blueprint for my online success.
I say stumbled, but what I really mean is that I kept going until I found what worked.
During this time, my passion was in the back of my mind. I believed it was a pipe dream, so I threw it aside, and kept going.
I have always been fascinated by the human mind and personal development. And I had thoughts about writing something on those topics … some day.
As I kept gaining momentum and becoming more successful, I kept pushing those dreams to the side.
I needed more money to do what I loved, or so I thought.
I had learned that money didn’t bring happiness while playing poker, but I had to learn that lesson a second time.
Deep down I wanted to focus on personal growth. I didn’t know exactly what topics I wanted to cover, but there was something there.
It resonated with me.
I kept telling myself that if I made enough money, I could follow my passion. After a while I got disgusted with my own excuses.
Enough was enough.
I was going to do what I loved, with or without fear.
I didn’t know at this point that fear was to be expected when you’re following your passion. All I knew was that I wanted this more than anything else.
I was determined, but I wasn’t out of the woods yet.
Progress, But Not Really
Deep down I knew what my passion was, but I tried to distract myself with what was “safe and secure.” I was too afraid to even look in the right direction.
It wasn’t until early 2009 that I started sketching what I might want to write about. I bumped into the blogging community, and it drew me in, like a pleasant version of quicksand.
I liked it. It felt right.
At first I was going to call my website, The Holistic Highway, and it was going to be about health, personal development, and online business.
Then I stopped.
I gave up.
I didn’t believe I could contribute anything. I mean, there were so many great bloggers, and writers out there that clearly were far better than me, so why bother?
Overwhelm and Confusion
At this point I went into a cloud of overwhelm and confusion. Once again, I distracted myself by working on other online projects.
I focused on making money, because it felt safe and it made sense. I was building websites around topics I enjoyed, so I was happy for a while. I was, at least, moving in the right direction.
Then at the end of 2009, I started feeling a nudge from deep inside. It was like an internal GPS coming online.
“Turn right now. Proceed forward. Read this book. Take this step,” it communicated.
I didn’t hear it guiding me. It was more of a feeling. Some things felt right, while others didn’t. Sometimes I did the wrong things, and sometimes I didn’t.
Thoughts and excuses came up, but I kept doing what felt right.
It was a puzzle to be solved. I did my best, and I moved forward.
I was overwhelmed and confused, because I didn’t know how, where, or when to start. But there was always that little voice inside of me that knew where to go.
Finally, I just went for it (again).
I had no idea if there was an audience out there waiting for me, but I wasn’t going to let my own fears stop me.
I was going to find out for myself. For so long, I had been looking for guarantees.
I quickly realized that there were none. I was my personal guarantee.
I was the key to my own success, not an outside force.
It wasn’t until I became truly determined, and was willing to take risks that I saw the truth.
As I look back, I do see a method to my madness. There is a strategy we can follow to build an advice-based business around our passions.
But I didn’t know that at the time, so I had to spend years stumbling in the dark.
Stepping Into the Clearing
I started Wake Up Cloud (this blog) in December ’09, and a new chapter in my life began.
I joined a training course on blogging, but I had no idea of what I was doing. Nonetheless, the road ahead of me was becoming clearer, and my internal GPS was becoming stronger.
All the mistakes I had made since 2006 started to turn into positive lessons. Everything I learned during those dark times was helping me succeed.
I wasn’t fearless. I wasn’t talented. I simply took one step at a time, and took action despite my fears.
After a few months, I created my first product, and I made my first thousand selling the knowledge I had accumulated.
To me, it’s not about making millions, because you will never feel like you have enough. If you can’t be happy with $30,000/year, you won’t be happy with $200,000/year.
It’s a mindset.
It’s all about doing what you love, and having enough money to live life to the fullest.
It’s about lifestyle.
If You Want to Succeed, Work Hard
It may not happen in a second. It may take years, just like it took me, but in the end it is worth it.
I am still confused from time to time, and that’s okay. I’m constantly learning to trust my internal GPS more.
Life flows more easily the more I trust it.
And it all started from a big pile of failures, or at least they seemed like failures at the time.
I always knew what my passion was, and you might, too. It was in front of me all this time, but I refused to see it, because I was looking for something else.
I had my blinders on, and I thought I knew what I wanted, but I was wrong.
I had my excuses along the way. I was afraid, confused, and overwhelmed. It stopped me for years, but I always kept coming back.
And that’s what matters.
If at first you don’t succeed, keep going, because the only way you can fail is by giving up.
Image by Ibrahim