Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

5 Ways To Stop Being Absolutely Broke

I'd love to say all of these are my ideas, but they are not. They are the result of someone asking the question "Has anyone ever been able to go from absolutely broke to making a comfortable living". It was asked on Reddit and I've read every single answer to find the best ones.

I was living in my car ...

I was living in my car when someone broke my window and took all my clothes. I'm making a little over $100k now, but this is 15 years later. I had no credit, but somehow was approved at Target for a $200 store credit card. I used that to buy shoes/clothes and went on to job interviews. I landed a job working at a 24-hour call center overnight for some insurance company. I put allot of overtime and started with the basics. (I never paid the store credit card, but I did go to a junk yard to get a new car window.) I started a bank account for direct deposit on my pay, used my first $250 for an apartment. (Shitty studio, with no bedroom.) I had no furniture except for what other tenants thru away. I started one class of community college a semester, added more as I could afford to pay them in cash. I took 4 years to finish an associate degree with a focus of study in business. I landed a better job, continued to a 4-year degree ... and just kept bettering my skills and resume. (Government Grants, not loans.).

 I own my own home, have a fully paid car, and live a comfortable life now. I was lucky enough to not ever need a hospital. Luck and planning ... don't live a wistful life, use every little thing you have to its fullest. (I still eat ramen every now and then.)

Don't live a wistful life, use every little thing you have to its fullest.

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Dead broke at 21 ...

Dead broke at 21, lowest credit score possible, no car because repossessed, no license because suspended for nonpayment of speeding tickets. Homeless, sneaking into girlfriend’s house to sleep.

Spent my days at the library when my gf worked, reading about great people, changing your life, etc. Used their computers and internet to send or print free resumes. Got into the only, yet likely best occupation that will take a person like that and offer real opportunity for a hard worker, commissioned sales.

Sucked for weeks, awkward, stuttering, not knowing the product well. To be completely honest I cried the first two days I came home, for the first time since I was a child. Just felt hopeless and a huge failure, but I resisted the urge to no show and went to work the following day and the day after.

Each week I got better, started making sales, within 6 months I was pulling in $2000+ weekly commissions.

I just outworked everyone else, I came in early 6am to make calls overseas, stayed late to make calls on the west coast, answered emails at home.

I left within the first year to start my own company, I had learned exactly what the company was doing and realized I could offer the same services. It wasn't easy, but it's 15 years later and I employ 17 people, I earn all different amounts as the owner but never under $600,000 and on good years quite a bit more.

I was a fuck up my whole life OP, took an extra year to get out of high school, no college, destroyed any credit line given to me, quit jobs for no reason, or just not show up because I was tired.

You can wake up a year from now in a completely different life. You might have to jump around to a few opportunities, but keep your expenses dirt cheap, game plan, exploit any advantage to save money safely as in don't live in a crack den, but a trailer is fine.

 You sound like you have good self-control, which is more than I had, and it took me many years to get my impulses under control.

You can wake up a year from now in a completely different life

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I was hopeless and desperate ...

I sold everything I owned, left the state where I used to live with $600 to my name (about to be evicted, and $30000 in debt), in a 12 year old car with expired plates, a wonky transmission, and a bad u-joint, drove halfway across the country to move in with my brother and his wife and their kids, with no prospects and no idea what I was going to do. I was hopeless and desperate, a complete failure at 40 years old. I looked for work for a few months as I taught myself to code, and finally got a contract job for six months, which was extended, and finally after 18 months was offered a full-time job. I moved into an apartment.

 It's seven years later, my debts are paid, I'm at a different (better) job, making $90k a year, and my gf and I are buying a house. I had no hope and no prospects seven years ago. It slowly got better by taking a chance, working hard, and having good people around me that I could rely on. Don't give up.

It slowly got better by taking a chance, working hard, and having good people around me that I could rely on.

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It's a lot of work and not hanging out with friends ...

 Started learning programming on YouTube at 18 while working retail and totally broke, $40k programming job at 19, $50k at 20, $90k at 21, $110k at 23, $120k at 25. Own a house and all that jazz. Programming is one of the few things I see a lot of nerds getting 6 figure salaries without a degree. Echoing what everyone else has said, it's a lot of work and not hanging out with friends, but worth it. I'm definitely happy with my current lifestyle, keep your head up.

Programming is one of the few things where I see a lot of nerds getting 6 figures without a degree

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Got kicked out, dropped out of school ...

Yep. 2 years ago, I was a broke college student living with family. Got kicked out, dropped out of school, and started jockeying for more hours at my almost-minimum wage job. Today, I make about 50k, and I still work for the same employer. I'm not a rags-to-riches story like others in this thread, but I just bought my first house, I'm financially secure, and I live pretty comfortably. Granted, I'm a single guy with no kids, but I'm sure you could live comfortably on that kind of money too.

Here's what I did:

I bettered myself. On my own time, and sometimes with my own money, I got certified as a wine sommelier, a forklift operator, and got my CPR/AED/First Aid certifications. When promotion time came around, I wrote an eloquent letter of interest highlighting not only my unique skill set, but also my initiative in acquiring said skills without being prompted to do so. Don't think that going back to school is the only way to educate yourself. Find something that provides incontrovertible proof that you're going to work your ass off to keep getting better at what you do if they pick you for that promotion.

I took an interest in general leadership. I had no formal management experience, but when a management position opened up, I highlighted my experience with student government in college and being an NCO of Marines.

I worked on my credit. Gained 80 points in 2 years, paid off some collections, kept my nose clean. You need to take care of that shit with your mom. She screwed you by kicking you out and endangered her grandchild's future ... so if I were you, I'd start prioritizing your kid over your mom. When your credit is dogshit, the first step to improving it is having some awkward conversations with your creditors. That's part of being a man, I'm afraid.

I kept living like a broke college student even after getting pay raises. I highly recommend subscribing to /r/frugal and /r/MealPrepSunday for some inspiration on how to live simply and economically.

Also … buy a slow cooker. It will pay for itself many, many times over even within the first year you have it.

 I kept applying for jobs I didn't think I could get. They kept giving them to me anyway. I worked hard on my letter, I prepped for the interview ... and sometimes, other people didn't bother applying and I didn't have much competition. You don't have to be the perfect applicant; you just have to be the best one who bothered to put themselves out there.

Don't think that going back to school is the only way to educate yourself. Find something that provides incontrovertible proof that you're going to work your ass off to keep getting better at what you do.

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If you want to read every response you can find the entire thread at:

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Generating Wealth

How I Went From $0 To $17K/Month In 12 Months

This article is reprinted in full with permission from the original author Colin. I kept all images and links intact. I originally read this over on Reddit and thought it was a great example of how to build an internet business strictly based on great content and low-cost advertising. Note that this is not a "How To Make Money Fast" post. Colin busted his chops for 12 months to get his "overnight success". Read, learn, take notes and please help us and Colin out by sharing this all-over social media.

~ Patrick


What’s up everybody?

My name is Colin, and I am the founder My background is in Finance and Economics – although internet marketing is now my passion.

One year ago, I decided to start my company, Bullymake. When I started, I had no clue what I was doing.

That means I had ZERO marketing experience, ZERO web experience, just ZERO experience as an entrepreneur.

But I knew I wanted to build a business, and I wasn’t going to stop just because I didn’t know how to do something.

First, I taught myself how to build a website.

Then I taught myself how to acquire customers on a consistent basis.

I acquired my first customer in September of 2014 and was giddy like a little school girl. Then I learned how to get better and better at it.

And let it be stated that this company was COMPLETELY BOOTSTRAPPED. I didn’t have any money to risk when I started building it. I had no money to invest (at least, not a significant amount at all - like a couple hundred bucks.)

So, let’s jump into what’s worked and how I went from scrub to building a $17K monthly recurring revenue business (and growing quickly month over month)!

1. Picking a huge market and focusing on a specific problem.

Bullymake first started when my wife and I bought a little Bulldog. Originally, it started as a business where I wanted to sell collars, harnesses, and other items for the Bulldog breed.

From there, I pivoted. I then realized he was destroying every toy in site, and that toys would be a good idea!

As I learned more about internet marketing, I realized that continuity (monthly recurring) businesses are really sweet. The lifetime value of a customer can be super high if the customer is happy.

So, I set my focus on a subscription box – and not just for Bulldogs, but for all power chewing breeds!

Problem was that a subscription box business for dogs is not a new concept. In fact, there is competition EVERYWHERE. But this can be a good thing – it means the market is huge.

But by creating a company slightly differently from the rest and focusing on a specific problem, I can tap into a massive market. This is where the inherent value for Bullymake is!

Take what your competition is doing and either A) slightly differentiate yourself or B) do it better… Or both. No need to reinvent the wheel.


Yes, I put that shit in all caps 'cause it's important.

Content marketing literally built this business and now we’re gonna talk about how to do this from here on out.

The pieces of content you develop are the TOP OF ANY SALES FUNNEL.

This is where I initially found my first trickles of traffic. I wrote blog posts.

I started by writing “evergreen” type posts looking for traffic from the search engines. Noob moves for my niche.

Those posts are boring, unoriginal, and have no chance for virality.

Posts such as: “Why a Harness is Important for Your Dog.” FUCKING YAWN.

I then started writing posts that connected with people and their interest. Such as “21 Things Only a Bulldog Parent Would Understand” that utilized a lot of imagery from Instagram. Boom!

These posts are a hit and get shared like crazy – bringing me lots of traffic.

They get shared over and over by readers, and it exposes my brand to a larger and larger audience.

If you make a quality post and target correctly, a little bit of money on Facebook can go a long way. And I mean a loooooonggg way.

As you can see above, I had only spent ~ $50 to market that post. I got 1,135 clicks from that post at $.044 cents per click. That’s less than 1 cent per click.

Check the other metrics – an 8.46% CTR, and a 10/10 relevance score.

And that doesn’t include the organic traffic from the shares.

This piece of content would be the top of my sales funnel. It’s where people first come to your site and familiarize with your brand.

And once that happens you move on to RETARGETING these people.

3. Custom Audiences & Retargeting

And that brings us here. Custom audiences are the SHIT. They do everything for you.

Whenever you make a blog post, immediately make sure you build a custom audience for any traffic that hits that page.

A custom audience is simply an audience of people that have visited a specific page on your site, or any page on your site.

Facebook puts these people into this audience for you to retarget later. We have hundreds and hundreds of custom audiences.

This is a very basic step for building an effective Facebook sales funnel.

Then write another blog post which targets the traffic that’s already been to your site! Guess what the results are?

That’s right. Lots of organic reach which means tons of shares, traffic, and leads. It’s because they already know you and your brand. Now you’re starting to build authority and trust with these people.

And for those individuals who have already reached one of the product pages, they get re-targeted much more aggressively within Facebook and other social sites.

I build ads that remind them to just straight up buy our Bullymake Boxes.

These ads are effective because we target the users (and this is the KEY) who have already been to the product pages and looked at the actual product we sell. Therefore, they are much more likely to buy.

One thing I constantly see is so many people who just build a BMS ad, throw a bunch of money on Facebook, and wonder why nobody converted.

A BMS ad is a “Buy My Shit” ad. It’s not good and it doesn’t work on Facebook in particular, ESPECIALLY when targeting cold traffic.

You’ll be so ROI negative and out of business so quick. Don’t do that. Warm your audience up with engaging content first.

4. Email Marketing

Now, with all this traffic we’re driving from our social media properties, it’s important to realize that the majority of them are going to bounce (aka leave your website).

However, what’s absolutely imperative is that your pages include an e-mail capture popup.

Yes, popups are the devil. But yes, they are necessary.

By doing this, I’m able to capture 30-150 emails a day depending on my advertising spend. The image below is from yesterday.

On my best days I’ll capture 150 e-mails +. But it really depends on the amount of traffic that rolls through - which depends on my ad spend (usually).

Sometimes I'll be spending $20/day on a piece of content, and a super influencer will share it and I'll get a HUGE surge in traffic.

What’s more? I target SPECIFIC dog breeds through the content I’ve made.

If you’re on a post about Great Danes,
you’ll see this popup:

Reading content about American Bulldogs?
You’ll see this popup:

And this has led to pretty solid email conversions. Considering we average about 3K unique visits per day, you can see how our e-mail list builds quickly.

5. Nurture your E-mail Leads

Now, once people are on your e-mail list you should never just sell to them.

What you want to do is send them… You guessed it. Relevant and engaging content.

This allows for your e-mail list to get more of a feel for your brand and consume your content. It will also boost your open and click through rates in your e-mails so that when you do sell, people actually open the message!

A sales blast every once in a while, isn’t a bad idea. I do it once a week to my list. But if you do it too much, you’ll kill your list and lose leads.

6. Calls To Action Placed In Blog Posts

Sometimes (actually, lots of times) people end up coming to the content I’ve created, seeing the ad I’ve placed at the bottom of a blog post, and converting from there.

You should be placing calls-to-action in your blog posts to make your visitors do what you want them to do!

For example, I’ve been dropping this at the bottom of every single blog post:

It gets people curious after they’ve read our content, and they start clicking around to the homepage and beyond.

Another trick you can do is put an e-mail opt-in inside of your content that basically expands your content for their e-mail address. I don’t do this, but many of the best marketers do.

Where Bullymake Is Going

There are still things we are improving on.

Logistically, order fulfillment is an absolute pain. We are using software but it’s still not easy. We are placing more time and money in our fulfillment process to improve this area.

Our box branding is also getting upgraded into a more branded experience. That’s being implemented this month. Prior to this, we have slapped a label on a box and called it good. Goes to show that a pretty box isn’t crucial for sales, but it does help.

Higher ad spend and scale – it’s taken close to a year to nail our funnel down. We are going to be scaling our ad spend up and bringing in even more sales.

I hope this helped … Or inspired!

If there is interest, I’d like to write about my Pinterest funnel, Twitter Funnel, and Instagram efforts in the future. I’ll also dive deeper into e-mail marketing and SEO.

Keep in mind though that I’ve built this business ENTIRELY through utilizing paid traffic. SEO is important, but it’s not critical if your funnel is built nicely and you’re seeing a positive ROI.

I will be posting regularly over at to update our progress on Bullymake, our clients’ businesses, and overall growth and marketing strategies.

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Generating Wealth, Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

Upcoming Job Transition? Don’t Mess Up These Three Areas

On average, we will change jobs 11 times by the time we turn 50 according to the United States Department of Labor. Much of the job-hopping is early in our lives, but even in our forties we change jobs twice. Going through a job transition can be difficult. There are three areas to plan for during a job transition, Money, Time, and Stress. Every job transition is unique, so the goal of this article is to highlight ideas for you to consider making your transition as positive as possible.

Plan for the increase (or the decrease) in salary.

Everyone knows they should have a budget. I have a budget, but in real life my budget is a guideline, some months are worse than others. When dealing with a job change a budget has to be more than a guideline. If you are in the situation of trying to find a new position, your finances will be stressed. Planning ahead, six months at least, can help prepare you for that transition.

What if you are getting promoted or have found a higher paying position? You might think Money doesn’t factor in, but it does. If you don’t plan for the increase in pay, you will find yourself wasting money when you could be using that money to benefit your financial goals. Can a debt be paid off sooner? You can save for a future purchase. Having an increase in salary can benefit more than just your monthly take home pay; don’t waste the opportunity.

Factor in the changes to your time/schedule.

Every day has exactly the same amount of time; it is our life that is hard to balance in those 24 hours. The two main areas that take up our time are job and family. A job transition will challenge this balance.

Again, you might think having a promotion or moving to a better position has no affect on this dynamic, but it does, especially at the beginning of your new position. There is always a learning curve with a new position. It takes time to get into the groove of a new job. Also, new positions create new expectations to your routine. It might be something as simple as what time you are expected to begin your workday. This changes your routine. Being aware of the time commitment at the beginning of your new position and the other time factors of your job will help in dealing with balancing the rest of your life outside of work.

Be aware of friendship changes ... and stress.

The other two factors play a role in your stress level. If you plan ahead with for those, it will help keep your stress in check. But there are other factors that can affect your stress you might not have considered.

One of the great aspects of life is our friendships. A job transition will change these relationships. A promotion may make you the supervisor of your friends. Changing a position will mean developing new relationships, but also it will make sustaining relationships with coworkers from your other position difficult. Your social circle will change with your job.

Our jobs or careers usually reflect our personal goals. Many times changing a job means we are moving toward achieving our goals. This gives us a boost to handle different challenges because we are accomplishing our dreams. Sometimes, though, a job transition reflects a hurdle to our goals. Or challenges us to reconsider our dreams. This can be a difficult time of self-reflection. A job transition can be a time to evaluate our personal goals.

Preparing for a job transition is important.
Each transition is unique, but keeping in mind time, money, and stress will help you make the move easier.

Who is Jamey Boelhower?

Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six, TIS, coach, and teacher for Sandy Creek high school in Nebraska. He is also an adjunct professor for CCC Hastings.

You can read his regular blog "It Is All Connected" by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90.

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Generating Wealth

Do You Get Jealous of Successful People ?

Are you ever browsing the internet looking for ways to be more successful and more motivated?

Every now and again you'll stumble upon the blog of a person that is living the life you want to live. They look like they are famous. They talk about their money or other assets. They have a huge social media following. They are loved and adored by all their fans. And you are 100% sure that they are relaxing in their 10,000 square foot house drinking top grade alcohol while floating in their pool.

I've heard friends say that they encounter this often. And it is depressing. It is depressing to think that so many other people in the world that are doing so much better than you are. It can be almost painful at times to see that somebody else has no problem buying food. Or making their mortgage payment. Our putting clothes on their kid's backs.

If you go to the extreme, you might be one of those people who have an extreme hatred for successful people. Why do they deserve to get everything?

You are the one working two jobs and your lights still get cut off every now and then. If you ever feel yourself getting angry when you see somebody else's life, I want you to remember this list:

  1. You don't know that person's history/backstory. They may have been through more hell than you can imagine before they "made it". Some of the most successful people have been in jail, gone bankrupt multiple times, lost limbs, and have been through multiple divorces. You just never know.
  2. Anybody on the internet can portray anything. That person with the 10,000 square foot house could be in the middle of a foreclosure. You just never know.
  3. Every second you spend focusing on somebody else's money is one less second focusing on generating money for yourself. That is one of the reasons I spend a lot of time talking about time management on this blog.
  4. There is no shortage of success and money. If you want it bad enough, you will bust your ass to get it. No amount of jealousy or whining will pay your bills.

Pay close attention to #3.

The more time you spend on #3 the less time you have to spend on #4.

If you are frustrated with your lot in life, then stop wishing for something better and stop watching other people have what you want. Just go do it yourself. Now get off the internet and figure out how to generate your own personal fortune.

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Attitude Adjustment

Life Is A Game Of Inches. Are You Willing To Fight For Them?

This is a great reminder that we succeed and fail by the small steps we take every day, not by the big ones. The inches that we fight for are how we win.

I don't know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today.

Either we heal as a team, or we are going to crumble.

Inch by inch play by play till we're finished.

We are in hell right now; gentlemen believe me, and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light.

We can climb out of hell.

One inch, at a time.

Now I can't do it for you. I'm too old.

I look around and I see these young faces and I think I mean I made every wrong choice a middle-aged man could make.

I uh ... I pissed away all my money believe it or not.

I chased off anyone who has ever loved me.

And lately, I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror.

You know when you get old in life things get taken from you.

That's, that's part of life.

But you only learn that when you start losing stuff.

You find out that life is just a game of inches.

So is football.

Because in either game life or football the margin for error is so small.

I mean one half step too late or to early you don't quite make it.

One half second too slow or too fast and you don't quite catch it.

The inches we need are everywhere around us.

They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch.

On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch.

We CLAW with our fingernails for that inch.

Cause we know when we add up all those inches that's going to make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING between LIVING and DYING.

I'll tell you this in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch.

And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is.

The six inches in front of your face.

Now I can't make you do it.

You gotta look at the guy next to you.

Look into his eyes.

Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you.

You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.

That's a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.

That's football guys.

That's all it is.

Now, whattaya gonna do?

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