This week’s guest post is from Dave Chesson who owns Kindlepreneur . Dave has recently been able to quit his full-time job in the military to work on his online business in a full-time capacity. I love to hear this type of success story, not only because Dave is a great guy and is able to earn a great online income by himself, but he now also gets to spend more time at home with his family.  

A true success story in every sense.

Take it away Dave!


My whole life has always been about following the ‘normal’ path.  

I graduated high school and to went to college.  After college, I joined the Navy and thought:

“I should get a masters degree too in order to be more recruitable after the military.”

So, I did that too, all the while thinking that this was a path to success.

But in that moment of following the crowd like a lemming to a cliff, I realized something extremely important:

“That was society’s definition of success.  What was mine?”

And so, 3.5 years ago, I created my own definition of success and an exit strategy that would allow me to accomplish it.  

I have now built a 6-figure side business that fits well within the scope of life I wanted.  I get to work at home with my three amazing kids and do something that I actually enjoy.

What was that definition of Success?

It’s not that I didn’t like being in the military – I sort of did.  However, as a military diplomat, I was being deployed overseas at an alarming rate.  

At one point, I realized that I had spent 3 out of the past 4 years away from my family and something needed to give.

But, here was the thing: being deployed and living in places like South Korea and Sri Lanka, my options for creating a side business was extremely limited.

So, what is a father of three, husband and constantly deployed man to do?  More importantly, what was it that I actually wanted to do?

Well, to do that, we needed to create a scope of work – a definition of success with limits and boundaries due to my situation:

  1. Must be able to build while being in foreign posts
  2. Must not require my attention at all points in the day
  3. Must allow me to move around – no brick and mortar type business
  4. Must allow me to work from home

With these in mind, I discovered that online marketing and businesses like niche websites and Amazon Self-publishing met all of the wickets.

I had my platforms…it was now time to get to work and build.

Mastery Versus Movement

As I began building niche websites and my self-publishing career, I learned a valuable lesson.

Many online marketers just quickly jump into a project and then jump out when they don’t see the results they were looking for.  This is like dipping your toe in the pool and when you think it’s too cold, you pack up shop and don’t go swimming.

But the truth is, you’ve got to just commit and jump right in and that’s one of the biggest parts to my overall success.

When I decided niche websites was something I wanted to build, I spent lots of time honing that craft.  

Heck, my first two websites were flops and some would consider that a failure.  I saw it was failing forward.  Each time it flopped, I figured out why and how I could mitigate it next time.

The point is, I wasn’t discouraged and I didn’t quit.

By the third website, I had figured it out.  I finally had a passive income stream that was making money every month.  Albeit a small amount, but it was real and it was there.  

Online Fork in the Road

I had discovered how to make passive income, but now I had a sort of conundrum.  

I could either try to mass produce the initial success of the 3rd website and start building hundreds of niche websites.

– because that’s how many it would take to make enough passive income to support my family and quitting the Navy

– or I could find a way to increase the amount my niche websites were making.  

I chose the later.  

I started learning more about how to optimize Adsense ads, select better amazon associate products, and affiliate links.  I created email opt-ins and autoresponder funnels that drove in sales.

I optimized like a mad man.

But it wasn’t until I entered self-publishing my own books that my profit hit a new level.  

You see, I had just created a whole website on a particular subject, so why not write a book on that subject as well?

I could then use my niche website to promote my book and instead of just making money off of other people’s adds, I could use my website as a free advertisement platform of my books?

And so, it began.

Authority vs. Niche

After replicating the above process, I finally made a strong set of passive, continuous, and repeatable income.  But I wasn’t finished there.

Having found unique online marketing tactics, and discovered that Amazon was a search engine just like Google, I realized I had a unique perspective and writing style.  

I therefore, decided to start my own authority website.

Authority websites are MUCH different than niche websites.  Instead of just building something, getting it ranking tops in Google and walking on to the next project, Authority websites are about building community and continuous streams of information.

They are extremely time-consuming and require the authors to put more of themselves in them.  

For me, this manifested in the creation of my website,  This advanced book marketing website was niched down to not be about all things self-publishing, but specifically on book marketing.  

Although it has been a complete success getting over 100K visitors per month in as little as 1.5 years, it has been quite a lot of work.  


Since gaining the traffic and learning about the market, I decided to make my first ever product.  After doing surveys and talking with authors, I realized there needed to be software that would help people answer one simple question:

Will my book idea succeed on Amazon?

So, my team and I created the first ever Amazon Book SEO tool on the market called  Think of it like the Long Tail Pro of Amazon.  

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Owning a product is a whole new beast, but my shift in business to be solely a niche website guy to a growing authority was a smart move – a  long term tactic, but also a long-term profit move indeed.

Did it all Pay Off?

I’m no longer in the military.  I’m home with my kids, picking them up for school and being the only dad at the Messy Art event that meets every Friday at 9:30am.  And, I’m making more money than I did as an international arms dealer for the US government.  

Yeah, I’d say it all paid off.  Exit Strategy complete and success made.  But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped.  I’m still pushing the boundaries, learning, and growing.

So, remember, its not like winning the lottery.  It doesn’t just happen randomly.  Success comes from defining it, sticking with it, applying discipline and never giving up.

But more importantly, continued success comes from constantly wanting to grow, learn and adapt.  

So, stay hungry and stay determined my friends.


You learn more about Dave Chesson by visiting Kindlepreneur here




  • Jennifer Blanchard October 6, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I love this! I had the opportunity to meet Dave at a conference this year and his work has blown me away. It’s really incredible to see what he’s created, and he’s inspired me to really step things up in my own writing business.

    • Jamie Hill October 7, 2016 at 6:55 am

      Thanks for the comment Jennifer. Totally agree, Dave is a guy that inspires others, he has shown that putting in the hard work can lead to great results. Good luck in stepping things up in your own business 🙂

    • Dave Chesson October 9, 2016 at 2:27 am

      Awe shucks! Thanks Jennifer and it was awesome meeting you. Can’t wait to work more together.

  • allie October 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing. This is inspiring!


    • Jamie Hill October 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks Allie 🙂 Thanks for doing a great job on your Facebook group, keep up the great work.

  • rachel October 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Very cool — Bookmarking since I’m working on my first Kindle book. 🙂

    • Jamie Hill October 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      Yes, well worth bookmarking for future ref. Can also suggest looking at Dave’s site too use his excellent software “KDP Rocket” will help you with your book idea and sales. Good luck with your writing venture Rachel.

  • Paige @ Live, Laugh, Budget October 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Congrats on the successful exit! Definitely encouraging to see others do what I hope to do one day.

    • Jamie Hill October 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks for commenting. Yes, very encouraging to see this happen, I love a success story and Dave’s is a great example of working hard and seeing results.

  • October 10, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Love hearing people’s success stories! Very inspiring!

    • Jamie Hill October 10, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, very inspiring to read this type of story, makes me want to write another ebook straight away.

  • Jenifer October 10, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    This sounds great! I just put out one e-book and I am currently working on the second.

    • Jamie Hill October 11, 2016 at 5:37 am

      Excellent to hear Jenifer 🙂 Congrats on writing the ebook, hope it goes well with the sales

  • Cori October 11, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Congrats on being able to figure out what you wanted relatively quickly. I’m looking into self-publishing some of my works, and I’ve bookmarked your website. Thanks!

    • Jamie Hill October 12, 2016 at 6:18 am

      Go for it and self-publish! It is easy to do and in no time at all you can have your work uploaded and published on Amazon. Best of luck 🙂