How to Never Work For Anyone Else & Retire Before Your Friends Graduate From College
This is the story of a 26 year old semi-retired marketer who spends most of his time with his family and friends, since his business is automated.
Back in 1991 I was 5 years old and my dad (Jerry, who is also a successful marketer now) had lost his job; he had been working for the state for years testing and mapping soils so their would be better crop production, however the funding for his project had not been renewed, so he lost his job.
We struggled for 13 months, (my parents had just had a new baby, my little sister) and I was about to enter kindergarten. It took my dad over a year to find a job that paid close to what he was making at his old job. We ended up living off credit cards and shopping thrift shops and garage sales for most of our possessions.
During this time I saw my parents researching business opportunities and applying for a lot of jobs; and I credit this experience of hardship for convincing me that there is no such thing as job security.
Eventually my dad found a job that was 70 miles or one and half hours away. He has stayed working there ever since and he commutes 3 hours every day so his family can live in the town that they enjoy and I could continue going to my school.
With my dad gone for 3 hours everyday and sleeping on the weekends I didn’t get much of a chance to get to bond and really know my dad growing up. This brings me to another lesson. You have limited time on this earth and you need to make the most of it, family should be your number one priority.
Now I don’t blame my dad, he made time for me when he could. I wish that I hadn’t been so stubborn as a child and been willing to move, because then we would’ve moved closer to his work. I think that would have made it a lot easier on us as a family.
During my years in public education I was considered rather slow and didn’t learn how to read until 3rd grade. In fact for part of the time I would be in classes for the kids with learning disabilities. When your name is Reed and you can’t read what the teacher writes down it’s hard to get over the teasing. I don’t believe any of my teachers at that stage of my life would have EVER thought I’d have the success that has happened in my life.
In these early years of my education I was in a lot of plays and my parents would work really hard with me to memorize my lines. This gave me a lot of confidence and while I was in middle school I was able to audition for and win roles in plays at the local college. Without the confidence that acting gives I don’t think I’d be the same person I am today and I would really struggle with speaking at events.
Once I learned how to read in 3rd grade stuff really started to click for me and on standardized tests I would end up scoring in the 99 percentile (meaning I would beat out 99% of the other students in the nation on tests, a perfect score of 100% isn’t possible from what I’ve heard)
I was still a painfully shy kid but that started to change in 4th, 5th and 6th grade. Those years I had wonderful teachers who really helped me open up and realize my potential. I ended up making a lot of friends and became fairly popular with the other kids.
Then came 7th grade.
The town I grew up in is relatively small about 10,000 people, even though the town is small we do have a problem at the local high school. We have fulltime police officers stationed there and they regularly call for backup as unfortunately there is a drug and violence problem in my community.
I went to new student orientation and quickly realized that this wasn’t the place for me. All they could tell us was what we couldn’t do. I hated it.
We started looking for alternatives and one of the people that my dad used to work with had kids who went to this really unique school about 15 minutes away in a town of under 1,000 called the Minnesota New Country School (MNCS) www.newcountryschool.com
We ended up scheduling a tour for this school and I decided that I could really excel at this new learning environment. What made the school unique was you were able to work on projects that interested you instead of being told what to do. Your learning was on your own pace; your own level and you were able to learn just about anything you wanted to (within reason of course).
With this newfound freedom and the ability to have a computer on my desk every single day all day long I began spending a lot of time on the Internet. Being a teenager I realized that I would need money if I were to have a lot of fun so I began searching for ways to make money. This was back in 1999 before the dot com bubble burst and I quickly gathered that people who knew a lot about computers and the Internet were making a lot of money so I began to focus my attention on those core activities.
I stumbled on a program called AllAdvantage.com which paid you $0.50 an hour to surf the Internet; all you needed was to install their software which displayed an advertisement at the bottom of your screen. You also would get paid $0.10 an hour for every hour friends that you recruited were online.
I ended up signing up my parents and a bunch of college kids at the local campus,. This was my first lesson in the power of leveraging I could make money off other people doing work. That wasn’t enough for me and I tried to get my school to sign up, but their lawyer didn’t like the idea and he wouldn’t allow me to sign up the other students on All Advantage.
That didn’t stop me from making money off of the fellow students in my school though. Since MNCS is a really small school and we didn’t have a cafeteria of our own, one of the local restaurants would cater a lunch to us every single day. These lunches would go for $1.75 and you had a choice from about 20 different meals a day to choose from. I would sell various parts of my meal to the students, for example I don’t like pickles and my hamburger would come with three. I would sell each pickle slice for $0.50 a piece and nearly pay for my entire lunch!
I would also buy six packs of Mountain Dew and sell them for $1 or a lunch ticket ($1.75) a bottle and since my parents were paying for the drinks it was 100% profit. (eventually they learned what I was doing)
Some days I would bring candy into school and one candy that made me a lot of money was Smarties. Smarties are really tiny pieces of candy and they come in packages of 10 or so for a dime. I would sell each individual piece of candy for a dime and would make a killing off of my friends.
Another scheme of mine was being a loan shark; from all the money I was making off of my friends I would always have $20 or more in $1’s in my wallet I would make small loans of $1 or so to my friends and charge interest that would double every single day. The kids took advantage of it because they would forget their money at home for a field trip and would pay me back the next day. Hey, when you’re hungry you’re hungry.
So now you can tell I’m very used to discovering opportunities and exploiting them. Now let’s get on with the story and learn more about my various careers in the business world. I have never ever had to apply for a job in my life.
During my 8th grade year at MNCS, my school was awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to replicate the school all over the country. The group that runs MNCS needed promotional materials and computer expertise. They hired me as an independent contractor to help while I was in school on certain projects of theirs for at least $10 an hour and oftentimes on a project basis of $1,000 or more.
I ended up helping them put on workshops where I spoke all over Minnesota about education, created information products to market the school, and I worked with a National Geographic videographer to make some very professional looking videos to teach others about MNCS.
During this time I ended up meeting lots of important people in the education realm from around the world. MNCS tours 500 or more guests from around the world who want to learn about this amazing learning environment.
With the credibility from helping with technology and creating professional videos for the group that runs my school I was able to strike out on my own and drum up business from other local companies. This allowed me to help out a lot of local people and eventually I was even hosting computer training after hours, where I’d charge local residents to have me teach them how to use a computer.
In 2003 MNCS had some student teachers from the local college who ended up doing a class on economics. I didn’t take part in the class but I learned they were doing a fantasy stock market simulation game which allowed us to buy and sell real stocks with a simulated $100,000 of cash. Now being the competitive spirit that I am I asked if I could take part in the game but not be in the class. Shortly thereafter I was number one and had made $140,000! I ended up getting greedy and started riskier investments which dipped me down to $77,000. I went from the #1 spot to the bottom. However, I had one more trick up my sleeves and in 90 days from hitting rock bottom of $77,000 I hit a whopping $2.3 million dollars in my account. Needless to say I won the game.
With this dramatic success in the stock market I ended up buying every stock market book and training program I could get my hands on and opened a brokerage account with the bank so I could trade stocks while I was at school. Now I made money but not enough to really excite me so what I did was the next best thing.
I decided to teach others how to research stocks and make money with the stock market. I was only a teenager myself but I had subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and Barron’s I ended up joining various forums and discussion boards on investing and I posted advice on the stock market.
In a short while I had developed a loyal fan base, which was asking me to create my own site, so they could spend their time focused on my systems and learning from me.
I didn’t take me too long to do what my market asked me to do (in order to achieve success you need to develop a loyal base of customers and give them what they want; success is really easy then) I created a web site called Investor’s Business Daily University because I really liked the philosophy they have for investing and I was mainly teaching people how to use their method.
It didn’t take long for Investor’s Business Daily to take notice and send me a cease and desist letter for infringing on their trademark name. Now as a teenage kid I had no idea about copyrights or trademarks and I was devastated that a group that I highly admired wasn’t happy with me. I had treated the site as a fan site dedicated to them and their teachings. It didn’t take too long and a lot of publications got wind of my story and I was getting my 15 minutes of fame in various national publications.
In 2004 and 2005, my senior year of high school, I realized that I could actually achieve real success from the Internet, as evidenced by my stock market web site which was ranked number one on Google, Yahoo and MSN.
I ended up trying lots of strategies to make money online and ended up doing a senior presentation to a hungry group of over 100 adults on how to make money on the Internet and with the success of that I ended up receiving my diploma.
Shortly after graduating from high school I ended up investing in a product which taught me how to become a joint venture broker; I ended up buying the product from Russell Brunson’s affiliate link and his bonus was that you could broker one of his products in return for investing in the course.
I ended up brokering several of Russell’s products and while I was doing that Mark Joyner had released his very popular and free self improvement product Simpleology.com I ended up connecting with Mark and creating a friendship with him. Eventually Mark allowed me to broker some of his product and he even sent me a few autographed copies of some of his books. Inside, one of them said “My prediction within the next 10 years is Reed Floren will be a household name.
He then gave me a ticket to my first Internet marketing conference and I met hundreds of marketers and this gave me the opportunity to work one on one with a marketer named Henry Gold.
In December of 2005, Henry and I teamed up and we launched a web site called 117ChristmasGifts.com which is a massive list building giveaway. We got over 1,000 joint venture partners to participate and at the end of the month had built a list of over 50,000 new members!
In March of 2006 I had literally cracked the AdSense code and was spending money on Google AdWords to send traffic to my sites which had articles and AdSense advertising on them. By April 2006 I was on track to make $30,000 per month before Google decided to shut me down.
This was a devastating loss for me as I was living relatively high on the hog for a young kid. I had bought a bunch of new expensive toys and my first vehicle, an SUV.
It took me several months to recover from that loss and I decided the best way for me to make money was to build my own list. So I did a giveaway event and I invited only 10 marketers to participate; we built a list of over 3,000 people in only 7 days and within one week I was one of the top sellers of a home study course. I ended up making over $1,000 in commissions and ended up winning a Skype Cordless Phone as a prize.
From then on out I ended up launching a lot of web sites for myself and for other marketers. I had started to call myself “The Joint Venture Broker” because I had learned that by putting the world “the” in front of the title it seemed as if a third party was endorsing me and that gave me a credibility boost.
I ended up brokering hundreds of products for various marketers and speaking at different events. In fact every month my friend, Jeff Mills and I, have our own event in the Minneapolis metro area you can learn more about that at http://www.minnesotamarketingmastermind.com
As my reputation and list grew so did my commitments for other people. I have now streamlined most of my business so the real money making aspects only take a few minutes of every day, while I spend the rest of my time having fun with family and friends.
In 2007 I ended up doing a coaching program on joint ventures where I sold over 50 of these at $997 per person, so it was a decent amount of revenue for not a lot of work. If you want to know the secret to my success it is further outlined in this product http://www.thejvbootcamp.com
Speaking of family, they are now getting started in building their own businesses. As I write this, my dad has built a list of around 5,000 people and my girlfriend has a list of 2,000 people. In the Internet marketing niche, a subscribers is worth around $1 per person per month, so I am very thrilled to help them achieve success.
It is now 2008 and I’ve considered myself to be semi-retired for quite some time. I work when I want, on what I want, and only if I feel like I really should.
I don’t mean this to brag, but since you’ve read this far you should know this.
I’ve NEVER worked for anyone else, written a resume, gone to college, or even applied for a job yet I make more than most people do and I spend most of my days having fun. If I can do this, you can do this, and I want to help you.
To learn more about Reed Floren visit http://www.reedfloren.com