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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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, Kindlepreneur.com. 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 KDPRocket.com. Think of it like the Long Tail Pro of Amazon.
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