In this post, I talk a lot about my own personal journey, and how I’ve gotten to where I am today. If you just want to skip to the end where there are resources that will show you how YOU can get rebel against mediocrity and take your life & career into your own hands–sans boss–then be my guest. My feelings won’t be hurt.
The Evolution of a Shy Girl Turned Outspoken Lunatic
Most of you probably have a good sense of who I am as a person; through my writing, my comment responses, my Tweets and personal emails, I’m not shy about revealing my over-the-top, zany personality.
I was recently interviewed by the infamous, surf-loving Srinivas of BlogcastFM, about becoming a blogger, and somehow even ended up talking about sex. Surprised? You can hear the interview with me & my self-proclaimed husky man voice here.
Yet, despite who I am today, I was once someone very different.
As a child, I hid behind my mom’s leg, only partially revealing my face whenever anyone attempted to talk to me. Usually I just hugged her calf and buried my face into the back of her knee. I’m sure that wasn’t annoying.
As a pre-teen, I started to slowly come out of my shell, which I owe much of to Vince Materese, my first kiss. Vince was the popular guy that everyone knew, and one very fine balmy Friday evening when I happened to cut him off by accident at the one and only skating rink in town, he promptly nicknamed me, “Big Butt Ambirge,”–a nickname that we later joked about during our tween courtship that followed.
Later, as a teenager, I was as straight-laced as they come. Vice-president of the class, secretary of honor society, something or another for student council, a straight A student and a year-round volleyball player, there were certainly no “middle fingers” flying around. In the 10th grade I was elected to represent my school district at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference, and as a senior I had won a full scholarship to a private university, including room, board and a new laptop computer, given by the founder of Monster.com and based on entrepreneurial spirit.
I never went to parties in the woods with the rest of my peers (nor did I even know about them until much later), I never smoked a single cigarette in my life (which still holds true), and I didn’t cut class, skip assignments or talk back.
I was the model student.
Later, in college, the pattern remained mostly the same. I worked hard. I studied harder. I was determined to become the next biggest thing since Downy Wrinkle Release.
At the end of the day, I graduated in the top 5 of my university’s class, wore that stupid square hat, fist-pumped across stage, received not one, but two fancy Bachelor’s Degrees–one in Spanish, the other in PR–and went and consumed large quantities of alcohol that evening.
I mean, what wasn’t to celebrate? Supposedly, I had now passed with flying colors into adulthood, having checked off all of the required items on the list-of-life that’s suppose to be the key to “success,” and had even managed to graduate college without contracting any life threatening diseases. Awesome.
Except for one thing.
The Real World, Startling Realizations & Why Authority is Bogus
It didn’t take me long to figure out that what I had spent my entire life working for–my entire life obeying others commands, doing what I was told because I was told to do it, and generally following some pre-defined generic plan–didn’t mean $%*!.
Because as I mentioned in my interview with Srini, being competent on paper is far different than actually being competent.
The world didn’t give a damn about my fancy-schmancy gold-embossed 4.0, or how many ridiculous-looking torch-shaped pins I had on my varsity jacket. The world didn’t care what I was president of, or how many times I had been on the high honor roll.
What the world cared about was not me, but them. Those things on a resume are meaningless to the real world. The real world wants to know how much value you can actually bring to the table–not what your resume says you can.
You better believe I was bitter when I would go into interviews with copies of my resume, and the interviewer would skim it carelessly before getting to the real point: Are you a serial killer, and if not, what can you do for us?
Wait–You mean you don’t want to hear about how I was Captain of my volleyball team the year we went to state playoffs?
It’s a funny game we play. We work hard so we can add to the paper version of ourselves, hoping to appear more & more appealing to prospective decision makers in the future. Yet essentially, the piece of paper is nothing more than a standard formality, because the real reason anyone gets anywhere in life, be it in a career or something else, has nothing to do with their resume. It’s about what kind of results they produce.
Usually, we sit in anticipation, waiting for someone to notice our results. Waiting for someone to notice us. To recognize our hard work, and give us due credit. To give us a promotion. To elevate our careers. Constantly waiting for someone to give us permission to “succeed.” In essence, no matter how many A’s we get, we’re still relying on others to define our future for us, because there’s always someone ahead of you calling the shots.
Enter Technology & the Internet
This is precisely what I love so much about the internet; with the power of technology, we are no longer at the mercy of the decision makers to decide our fates for us. With the internet, we take things into our own hands and create ourselves the career that we want–and with an automatic title of CEO. The internet allows us to fundamentally take nothing, and turn it into something. This is particularly relevant in terms of business.
Internet entrepreneurs are everywhere, and more and more are popping up every day. My favorite example is always Chris Guillebeau, who actually provided me with the initial inspiration to start The Middle Finger Project. I can remember way back when he first started, having read one of his posts and releasing a big sigh of relief: I’m not the only one who has these thoughts about the way we should be living life. One of my all-time favorites was titled, “100 Countries or an SUV?”
Chris managed to completely transform his life in under a year through leveraging the power of the internet, and now derives his entire income from his online business…all while traveling the world one country at a time.
He didn’t have to ask for anyone’s permission to get his work published; he went ahead and published it himself online. He didn’t have to ask for anyone’s permission to write an eBook; he went ahead and published one–then several–himself. And he didn’t have to ask for anyone’s permission for a business loan; you can get a domain name for under $10/year.
Hence, the beauty of the internet. You can literally take your career into your own hands–whatever it may be–and essentially become recognized as an expert and start making money doing something you love.
But that’s not even the greatest benefit. While doing something you love is ideal, the greatest benefit is the new abundance of freedom and flexibility that the internet allows for. By leveraging the internet, we’re now at liberty to be in any place at any time–whether it’s the Starbucks down the street, or the nudie cafe in Chile. And that in itself is far more valuable than any little raise that an employer may be holding over your head.
Having the freedom to be able to travel or spend your time as you wish is one of the greatest benefits of running your own business online, and Chris certainly takes advantage of that fact. It’s what I’m working toward myself, as are many others.
Want to Start Your Own?
That’s why, when I found out that Chris was offering a course on exactly how to do this from scratch, which he’s aptly titled the Empire Building Kit, I drooled with anticipation. So you better believe that I’m spreading the word, in the name of all who have worked hard for a piece of paper, to only find out that that little piece of paper wasn’t going to launch you into overnight success. It takes work. And if you’re going to be working your tail off for someone, why not let it be you?
I greatly respect and admire Chris for all that he has accomplished, and the Empire Building Kit is just another example. Not only filled with his own advice, he conducted 15 case studies of people like you and me who are now earning $50,000 – $150,000 a year in net income, and have no more than three employees. What I like about that is the fact that they all reveal the details on their business operations, how much money they’re making, and exactly how they did what they did. With money being such a taboo topic, that’s rare to find.
The kit also includes a behind the scenes look at Chris’ own online business operations, including income, sales figures per launch, screw-ups and advice, as well as a year-long email series that includes one kick in the ass each day related to running your business. The reason he decided to call it the Empire Building Kit is because, like an empire, internet businesses are built slowly, step by step, day by day, and he’s living proof of that.
So there you have it. I receive a number of emails regularly that ask me how to get started with an online business, blog, etc., and I couldn’t be happier to be able to point you in this direction. There is a cost involved for the Empire Building Kit, but it’s 100 times worth the price if you’re serious about getting off your ass, rebelling against mediocrity and starting something extraordinary. If you want to take a look, click here. Fortunately, Chris took into account that there would be different people interested with different levels of knowledge, so he even went as far as to create three separate courses for the beginner, intermediate and the pros, aptly titled “Emperor-in Training,” “Hail, Caesar,” and “Alexander the Great.” Cute, right?
If you’re looking to take control of your career & passions away from gatekeepers, I strongly encourage you to go check out the Empire Building Kit.
Otherwise, I’d also encourage you to check out some of the eBooks he’s written; from a beginner’s manual to breaking out of the 9-5, to using social media to get your message to the world, to figuring out how to travel hack and save yourself tons of money in airline tickets, Chris has got a pretty impressive collection. It’s where I first got started myself last year.
The internet is a wildly powerful tool that most people have no concept of its true capabilities. To be able to take our future into our own hands and completely create ourselves into what we want to become–without relying on others to give us permission to do so–is powerful beyond measure. By the end of this year, I’ll be writing to you from some far flung destination as well–just need to figure out where. Let me know if you have any suggestions, and if you do end up enrolling in Chris’ course, let me know how you like it! I’m confident that it’ll change your life forever–and that’s a pretty damn bold claim.
24 hours, baby. You with us?
Proud to be an affiliate. This means that if you purchase one of Chris’ products through here, he’ll be nice and kick me back a percentage. This is extremely cool, because it helps to free up more of my time that I can dedicate to The Middle Finger Project. So let’s all sing a round of kumbahya and be happy, eh?