Why do We Work Online Jobs?
Find Your Motivation Within.
Just a few years ago, I did not picture myself making the choice to work online jobs, from the comfort of my home. In 2009, I was a police officer in South Carolina. It was as far as I had planned ahead in life. I was a patrol officer, complete with my hat, gun, and cruiser, and my traffic ticket book. I was outfitted to enforce the law. At first, I thought it was great. It was exciting and fun, even though I did not make a lot at first. It was a full time job, and I would work between 40-70 hours a week. I always had enough money for bills, but nothing more than that. I was also buried in student loan debt.
Have Passion for Your Life, Then Work Online Jobs.
After a few years, the job became too stressful. The job just did not feel like a good fit anymore, and I had to leave the force. I retreated to live with my parents, and get ready for my the next scene of my life– going to grad school. In 2010 I enrolled in the PHD program at the University of South Florida. Fall of 2011 presented a great opportunity for me. I move in with a beautiful woman (who later became my wife). At that time, I valued three important aspects of my life: my girlfriend and our dog, Peaches, graduate school, and well, video games. I knew that each of these things had to take precedence over everything else in my life. My girlfriend and dog needed my love and support. My school work required my full attention and presence, for both my education, and my financial wellness (I made twenty-thousand a year to work part time, and complete my degree). I spent about 30-40 hours a week working toward my PhD, and making money. It was a very reasonable schedule, considering I was finishing up both my Masters and PhD.
My third passion, at this time, was video games. If I was not with my wife and dog, or working on my school work, I was playing video games. I played Call of Duty every second I could get. I loved the newest level “Moon” on Black Ops. I ran around killing zombies as I drank a few beers. It was how I would unwind. I have been playing video games for over ten years, and it was always a source of joy. When I moved in with my girlfriend, I began to grow tired of my video game passion. When you love someone, you often feel the need to use your time more productively.
I quit video games cold turkey. My three life passions shifted focus toward: family, work and school, and to find a productive way to engage with video games. Instead of gaming, I started a website, and my very first business, Gaming Addiction LLC. This project bridged a gap between my passion, and a way to bring in some money from home. I did not know much about business in college, but I did know a lot of people wasting massive amounts of time playing video games. I recruited ten of my friends to help me set up the page, forums, posts, and engage with the site. We even got into Wikipedia for video gaming addiction pretty fast. We grabbed as many resources as we could, blended them, and created our own. That was great! That consumed my attention for a few months. Then I ran into my first roadblock—I did not know where to go from where I was.
Debugging My First Work Online Jobs.
The fatal error in my plan amounted to being clueless as to why I was working online in the first place! I knew I wanted to help other people with their video game addictions. I wanted them to find ways to unglue and enjoy their lives. The time and energy it takes to play video games was overwhelming compared to maintaining a website. The countless hours I used to sink into my television became empty. I decided to expand the site with my extra free time. I decided to get shirts made. I spent $1,300 to get shirts printed, and I figured I could sell them for $10 to make a little money. I sold two of them, and ended up giving the rest away. I made a total of $30 back on my investment. Clearly, my business skills left something to be desired.
In the course of all this, I kept trying to promote myself. I made Google, and Facebook ads. Soon enough, I started helping with more addiction than just gaming, because I could not find enough addicted gamers for me to sustain the business. I rolled with it and started Real Productive Life LLC. The goal shifted to helping people have a productive, and meaningful life. I made a new website, with new products to sell. I blindly attempted to get the word out to help others, and make money from it. I did not know much about internet marketing yet, but did not restrict me from my attempts at self-promotion. Many of these attempts came back empty.
Knowing Why Leads to Knowing How to Work Online from Home.
I found myself using resources that were the opposite of helpful. I struggled to get likes on my Facebook page, ended up buying some, and got ripped off. I was expecting real people, who would engage with my content (as advertised), but ended up with a bunch of silent robots. There were also bloggers offering courses about working online for hundreds of dollars. The information they shared was often generic, and mostly useless. This made me extremely frustrated with how hard it was to promote myself. I was surrounded by all of these resources that claimed to be amazing, but everyone was just trying to take me money!
By talking to people I met, I learned that I was not alone in my frustration! No one has an easy time promoting themselves online. I heard the same story from almost everyone I met online. Why can we not find resources that actually do what they advertise? Why to these services cost so much money? Where are all of the reputable tools?!? This got me thinking, “What if I helped these other people promote themselves using my own experience with my online businesses?”
Moving on Again
My next endeavor was offering to help businesses build their Facebook pages. I helped people get these fake likes, write posts aimed toward their clients, and descriptions for their profiles. In the meantime, I taught myself how to leverage Facebook advertising more effectively to generate conversions.
Once I knew the ads well, I could offer marketing services. These services brought in more money than running a website. When I started making money, I realized that I did not understand why I wanted to succeed. My wife and I were on a trip to New York for a conference. While she was in a meeting, I sat in the middle of Times Square. I thought long, and hard about what I was doing with my life. I must have spent hours pondering in that one spot.
I spent months from my life, thousands from my own wallet, and maybe a hundred sleepless nights working online. Even after expending this effort, I saw very little coming back to me, and no sign of smoother roads ahead. Though, I realized I had a vision of what I want to accomplish all along. It all boiled down to my desire to help people have success working online, and offer real resources for them. I wanted to take my frustration, and help people learn from it. I want everyone to have the same opportunities on the internet, without the hassle and struggle. Even more than that, I wanted to offer others the best, reliable resources to succeed. I hate seeing people get swindled!
I picture a world where it is just as easy to sit down and work online, as it is to find the most recent baseball scores. I want to help make it just as easy as Googling a question. Working online should take less time, and have more rewards. In the park that day, I decided to make my online career focus on these goals, and not solely about money. I want to create a platform to make these dreams come true for the internet workplace pioneers of the future.
To bring the website in my mind to like requires Wikipedia-level dedication. There is no simple way to make that happen. I figured if I had my website built, you could create a project of any size, tailored to fit the work you need completed, and the budget you have. ODesk.com and elance.com offer a lot of access for freelancers, but it is hard to make money there. I needed to figure out ways to put my new-found “Why” into action. It took planning, dedication, and time to find my way. My new found “Why” opened up the floodgates of motivation, and made the road to success seem at least a tiny bit smoother.
After six months of wasting time, I finally found my passion, and my “Why.” At the same time, I realized that it conflicted completely with my responsibilities at work and school. I was on the track to become a professor, and realized that I would not be able to do both. I did not have the time! Even after deleting video games from my schedule, I had less time with my friends and family. I started the video game site because gaming was taking time away from my other passions. Doing business online caused the same problems. It is less frustrating to get creamed over, and over by the same user on Xbox online, than constantly fail at online work—even though it is far less rewarding!
By the end of the preceding summer, I spent most of my time working online. I was more passionate toward my online work than school. To make time for my family and friends, I needed to cut school out of my life. A year after Gaming Addiction, I spent thousands of dollars, and made almost nothing back. I failed at many of my ventures: I failed with products and services, making t-shirts, and lost customer relationships. I was left with my growing Facebook ad expertise. My clients were making larger orders, and becoming more excited about my Facebook services.
Time for Change:
Taking a Leap of Faith.
That bench in the center of Central Park represented the winding and diverging network of trails that waited for me. No one path was any simpler than the others. I was just starting to make money online, but not enough to drop school. I decided to try to make enough money to drop out of school. I focused all of my energy into promoting my business. The more I worked, learned and committed, the harder my tasks seemed to get. I found effective keywords to get people to buy my Facebook services using AdWords. However, not long after I found them, Google banned marketers from using those words. My Google AdWords account was banned! As soon as I found something that got a huge return, Google just crapped on it. I had to find other means for self-promotion.
At this point I did not have a regular job. I felt it was important to incorporate having a regular job in my life. Instead of just working online, which was my original plan, I started to promote myself locally. I attended many events, conventions, networking groups, and more.
I thought this was so creative, but many people I have talked to online have done it! This may work really well for you. I made a few clients, and burned more and more of my money. I even joined the chamber of commerce at the trustee level for $2,000, and made only $400 back. Some weeks I spent all of my time going to networking events. I spent many days just meeting with people and trying to convince them that they needed online ads. These are people who are mostly in Sarasota, Florida using flyers and paper ads. They are new to the idea of opening a website, and using online marketing.
I decided to offer a new ad campaign setup service. This caused explosive growth! I set up my Facebook page so anyone could see I knew what I was doing. Even with all of this success, I read “The Four Hour Work Week,” and thought I could make some improvements. The problem was that with all of the networking, and meetings, I was only doing ten or so hours a week doing things that really mattered. I was wasting so much energy going to meetings that would never amount to a client. In April of 2013, a year and a half after I started, and a year after I started making a little bit of money online, I chopped out my local engagements, and taking phone calls. Many of these people just wanted free advice. I dropped the time I spent working to ten hours of important tasks, and maintaining customer relationships. With all the free time, I could start playing video games again! This time I was more able to keep video games balanced with the other, more important, parts of my life: my family, and my online work.
Striving for Success:
How I Made My Dreams Come True.
Now that I had made all of these improvements, I had to figure out how to keep them up and evaluate them. I was not sure where to go from there. I hired Brickwork India, from “Four Hour Work Week,” to do 160 hours of work for me. I had a great lady help me complete several time consuming tasks. She even gave me some great advice, to go to the Warrior Forum. Since I started posting in there, the Warrior Forum has become my best source for clients! I learned a lesson here– I should have asked for advice, or seeking advice much earlier. That is the problem with smart, ambitious people. We are the most clueless at times, because we do not want to reach out. When we think we know what is going on, and feel confident, we often find that we are actually sitting in a black room. I thought I knew what I was doing, when I really had no clue! The worst part was that I did not even know what I needed to learn, and where I needed to be.
I finally realized, that I knew very little. I also realized, if I focused on learning only what I needed to know, without distraction, then I could get very good at doing one thing. I decide to zoom my focus on Facebook advertising. I only expanded to a couple other types of advertisements, such as mobile. Because I focused my energy on one thing, my expertise became more valuable to my clients, and people who do not even know they need my help.
I continued to connect with more people who needed ads. Meanwhile, I continued to keep my connections with past clients. I started getting lucrative deals out of these previous clients. I did not have a client that was a large part of my income, like “The Four Hour Work Week” talks about. Recently, one of these previous clients has achieved great success, and offered me a great position. They have offered me the best opportunities of my online career.
The Growing Pains of Online Work
Coming into the end of the year, I continued to hit more road blocks. Every time I tried to scale my company from a one-man operation, to having a few employees, I have failed. I had some success with affiliates selling products, and I have had success with my website and Facebook page converting followers into customers. I have even had success with having some contractors help me with email responses, and replying to emails. But every time I tried to push for that next big growth, it just did not work out!
I hired around forty people on oDesk, to outsource a strategy on Facebook that I already knew worked well. I had developed it with my affiliates, whom it also worked for. However, with my oDesk freelancers, the strategy proved to be a complete failure. Even though all the data pointed to success, it still failed! Even simply hiring people caused issues because it takes time, and is not always fruitful. I do not like to hire someone, unless I have a year’s salary for them in the bank. I do not want to have to lay someone off, you know– I am quite conservative in that respect.
From Real Life Virtues to Livelihood in Virtual Reality.
When to Call it Quits from “Real” work.
The point is: the imperative lesson I learned in all of this is that knowing “Why” is the most important step in doing anything. Why am I doing all of this? I have a long-term vision that allows everyone to have the ability to sit down at their computer, then get paid to do work online. In my vision it is not as damn hard as it is in reality! Fortunately, I have learned many ways to work online much more easily than I have done it. I hope that my sharing these with you will help you have an easier time beginning your career online.
I recently spoke with someone in the same place I was a year and a half ago. He has a website, solid content, and is about to quit his job. My question to him was, “Why quit your job if you have not put in the energy to really be committed to your site? Why leave a full time job when you are not sure if you will even make any money? Why not dabble, and try to find success before you run from “normal,” and safe prospects? Why not get even a little success online, then consider quitting your job?”
He has the desire to work on his terms, but he is not in the position to quit. If you quit a full time job before you find success, you will become desperate. Strive to find a position of stability. Work your way up slowly. If you try to jump in, you will likely find yourself working 63 hours a week, with very little (if any) income. You do not want to find yourself in this position! You want to make a slow, smooth transition, if possible.
I never wanted to reach financial desperation, so I made sure I was set up to succeed. At first, my online work was a hobby. My job paid my bills, until I knew my work online would be able to take over. Once I had success, I instantly dropped my “real” job, and joined the internet workforce. When I quit, I was making more money online, than my grad student program. However, the next four months were awful. I did terribly when I first quit my job. I burned a lot of money. I continued to fail! A lot of businesses would have crashed and burned, if they did not have ample savings. I could handle the barriers that had been thrust before me, but if you do not want to hit that “Death Line,” as some of the business books call it, you have to plan and have a consistent approach. Starting slowly with online work to bring in a little extra income is a great start! When you find yourself in a state of desperation, you will find yourself making fatal mistakes.
I hope you have success work at online jobs.
I hope that hearing my mistakes helps you to not run into the same roadblocks as I did. Good luck with everything that you do! Nothing feels better than at working jobs online you love, when, how, where, when and why you choose. Thank you for visiting my page. If you would like to know more about starting to work from home, and jobs online, see “How to Start Working Online.” No matter how busy you get– remember to take time for what is truly important to you. I have more information to share with you! I believe it should be easy for anyone to learn how to work online from home.