I went from being bankrupt to earning six figures MONTHLY, and I’m going to tell you how.
I’ve been reflecting on things lately and I thought it would be helpful if I shared parts of my story that I’ve never shared before. I’m going to tell you how I went from bankrupt in all of my business failures to earning as much as six figures in a month.
I grew up in Michigan, mostly. In High School, I did okay academically. I will admit, it was very important to me to fit in. I don’t know why I was so obsessed with it, but I worked really, really hard to be part of the crowd.
As a matter of fact, in high school, I was essentially voted the most likely to want to fit in. I really felt like I was quite a poser. I was trying so hard to fit in – I wanted to be cool.
Eventually, I joined the US Navy. I looked at the cost of college and I thought, “I don’t know how I’ve going to pay for that.”
So, I joined the Navy as a journalist. I learned the basics of storytelling, which I think was really helpful.
At one point, I spent three years stationed in Hawaii where I did video news. I would go around with this big TV camera all the time and edit these big tapes and we’d put together news stories about the Navy, Marine Corps and all the activity in Hawaii.
I kind of started coming into my own.
Falling in Love
Toward the end of my time in Hawaii, I had the chance to cover a luau. I was running around with my big camera and spotted this really cute girl with long, brown curly hair.
I thought, “Wow, she is very, very attractive.”
I’d just taken a six-week Dating and Relating class because I was so shy about talking to girls. I’d get in my own head and over analyze everything, and then end up doing nothing.
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Because of that class, I gained the confidence to say, “here goes nothing,” and I talked to her. I don’t even know what I said, it was probably gibberish. Once again, I wasn’t good at that sort of thing, but I gave her my business card and told her I’d love to chat sometime.
That weekend, she left a message with her phone number. Sunday night was working at a radio station from like, seven to midnight. I didn’t have a whole lot to do, so I called her.
We talked for almost five hours. On Tuesday, we went out. After that, we started going out every single night. We spent about 20 days together.
I’m 21, she’s 19. We’re crazy in love like it was straight out of a romance novel. Then I had to take her to the airport so she could fly home to Chicago. I thought, “man if I let her go, I may never see her again.” So, I asked her to marry me.
I had one year left in the Navy, but she said yes. When I got out, we got married and we’ve been married for more than 23 years now. We knew each other for 20 days before I proposed. She’s been a great companion and a huge supporter when things were great – and when they weren’t.
I wanted to be a good husband and a good provider so I went back to school. Although it wasn't a great undergrad degree if I wanted to be successful financially, I pursued a degree in Family Science. I actually wanted to become a love doctor on the radio – like Dr. Drew and Adam from Love Line.
That didn’t happen. As I was studying Family Science, I got distracted by the internet.
I just became obsessed with designing websites, which were very simple (and not so great looking) back in the late 90s.
At the time, I struggled a bit. Although I was getting so excited over internet development, I wasn’t sure if it was my “calling.” I don’t know what you believe, but I believe there is a God. I got into Family Science because I wanted to help people, I felt like that’s what God wanted for me.
A friend of mine, a retired brain surgeon, said, “Josh, I want to tell you something. God, whatever you believe that is, can use you.”
He said it didn’t matter what work I was in – God could still use me. So, I shifted and got into internet development.
I did internet development for a couple of companies and eventually got to the point where I realized I’m not a good employee. I’m just not wired to be an employee.
I felt like I just needed to do my own thing but really didn’t have a good plan. I left my job way too early – DO NOT DO THIS.
It was horrible. I didn’t really have a stable income. I had a couple of contract jobs as an internet developer, and I thought I’d find some more. That was just dumb.
I had no savings – in fact, I had a little bit of debt. I was leasing a car, and car leases aren’t typically great financially.
Although I started getting more contract work, I wasn’t doing very well at it. A mobile DJ business I had during college never really became successful because I was afraid to network. I’d get into my own head – just like I did with dating.
I failed at the DJ business and eventually failed at the internet development stuff. Then I got involved in a small town internet service provider – that failed. So that’s business failure number three.
I started what was a blog before there was such a thing as a blog. Also didn’t work out. I tried starting a small town newspaper and that REALLY failed. It was stupid because I started doing into debt BIG TIME to support that thing.
So much debt that I ended up losing a house to foreclosure. We had to walk away from our home. I had that black spot on my credit report for a good seven years. Then, there was the personal bankruptcy. It’s painful to go through that.
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