Hi guys, I thought I might let you in on my ride to the top at the beginning of the Internet. It was a crazy ride and maybe somebody will get something out of it. It?s entertaining at least. Back in 94 I was a barber. The internet was barely heard of or used in my small town in Pennsylvania at that time. I remember seeing a website in 93? and also using AOL online (and CompuServ lol) but that was it. It never crossed my mind I could make money on this thing. I was super poor. Barbers don?t make squat and I was sooooo sick of being poor. I was 29 at the time and life was not very satisfying. Partying and being a slouch was getting lame at that point. I wanted shit and had no fucking money. I decided one way or another, I was going to be a self-made man. I hated working places. SO I got entrepreneur mag and studied it for a long time. I first started by off by doing one of those ?advertise in newspapers across the nation and have people send you money for a way to make money that will blow their minds.? The internet wasn?t used yet (not in any way to make money) so it was newspapers. I wrote an ad, placed in a Cleveland paper and it said for just $9 I will give you the secrets to make a killing. I opened a P.O. box and off I went. I told people at the barber shop what I did and they laughed and called me an idiot. No one is gunna send you cash you idiot! So I waited like 2 weeks. I didn?t want to rush it. I told them I was going to the PO box to see what?s up. I came back with 5 envelopes stuffed with cash. I couldn?t believe it and neither could they. Man it was so simple back then. Next I spotted giant gumball machines in the entrepreneur mag and begged and borrowed to buy 3 of them. I followed the tutorial and sent out letters (again no email yet) and told merchants they place it in their shops and I?ll give them 30% of the take. The manual said you can put ?win a prize? of a free gumballs or something small at the shop. Instead I put a sign on top that said ?win a free movie? (VHS again lol). I put that latest movies on the sign, gave the shop owner a handful of movies I bought and waited like 2 weeks again. I went back and held my breath literally and opened the little door at the bottom. Man, it was intense. The quarters spilled all out of the bottom because the little box couldn?t hold them all. It made all this noise in the middle of the day at a pet store. Everyone looked. Lolz. No one even got a winning gumball. I only put like 10 in there out of 3K gumballs. It was like $250 or some shit. Well, I placed the other two and was making decent cash for a while. But it ultimately wasn?t enough to satisfy me. I wanted to buy shit man. And gumball money was not the answer. The internet begins. Back in 94/95 the internet was sooo new, people were still scared to put credit card in a checkout cart. There were no cool stores to speak of. Just a pet store and a few others. I really wanted to do an online store. It was perfect. I stay at home, look at my computer (nabbed from a school loan that I quit) and rake in some cash. But what to sell? I needed something hot. Then when looking at the entrepreneur mag I saw it. Sitting right there. An ad for selling stun guns and pepper spray. Nice! No one could buy this shit at their local store. It was perfect. I researched, contacted the ad guy and bought the little package he was selling along with the extras for the disc (yes floppy) of pics an descriptions. They would drop ship for me too so cool. So it began. I built that little store over the next 4 months. Spent like 16 hours a day 7 days a week most times on it. The checkout was a bitch. I had no idea how to do graphics, etc, etc. I finished it finally and launched it under my old name, some marketing company. I figured it may not work so why buy a domain. It went live in Feb of 1996 if I remember correctly. I waited and waited. No one knew what backlinking was at that point so I never did it. Waited. Then a couple weeks later or w/e I got an order. Some fool from Hawaii (henry I always remember that first one) bought some pepper spray and paid all the extra shipping to get it to Hawaii. I made like $20. $20 out of thin air. Well that was it. I went to work placing free links everywhere I could. Over the next few months the orders grew and grew. Since there was no spam yet to email, I had a little audio bell ring whenever I got an email, any email. I remember this one time early on when I heard the little bell sound. I was watching a sweet movie with my wife and I?m like hold on a min. I go to check and someone ordered the most expensive item I had for sale. A complete taser package. The kind the cops carry now. It was like $450 and I made $220 profit. I was watching tv and made all that fucking money. I freaked out of course. Lol. So from that point it was more and more and more. There was no fucking competition. None. I owned that shit. And my little store (named a marketing company of all things) was quickly becoming the one and only authority site in the world for this stuff. It was insane! Fast fwd to 1997. I was the king of personal defense. Bought a new name SecurityPlanet.com Some other competitors came in but they were too late. I came up in every search (no goggle yet) and had a gazillion links placed everywhere I could find. The orders grew so much I decided to negotiated with the supplier and buy the stuff in bulk and ship from my tiny apartment on skid row. That saved me tons of cash and also bonuses for shipping over charges. I started shipping internationally and that?s when it really took off. I hit 83 countries by the end of 1997. I was earning close to $10K a month and still lived in this shitty tiny apartment on skid row. I started buying things finally. New tv, huge stereo (man the sub was a 1500 watt 18?!), went out to eat, the works. It was awesome man. Really I can?t describe the feeling. My supplier makes me a pitch. My supplier knew I was on to something big and he wanted out of the business b/c he was old. He said, come out to Washington (state) and buy my business. You?ll be a millionaire in 5 years. I?m like yes, I will duh. He paid me $5K to move across the country and I would sell his stuff wholesale online and my stuff retail online. I would own both parts. Nothing could be sweeter right? Wholesale is huuuge money. I went out there and got an amazing brand new town home. We drove across country with the wife and kids. We showed up at this place and I was floored. It was so fucking pimp. A balcony, vaulted ceilings, killer kitchen. I was in heaven for real. I hired maids to clean it 2x a week and we took off our fucking shoes to enter. Lol. It was so clean. My wife was like you?re the man. And I guess I was. The situation with the guy I was buying the business from fell apart. So I just started wholesaling myself. I had a that killer name at this point SecurityPlanet.com and was known all over the world for personal security. We had the Law and Order the tv show call us for supplies to be on the show, Jim Henson?s Muppets co placed a big order for staff, Disney, huge security companies, even cops. I shit you not. I became a huge authority. At my peak in washinton, I was making an unbelievable $30,000 per month. Now in 1997/98 that is like idk $45/$50K in today?s money? And may be more. I was fucking rich man. In just a few years I went from skid row to this?!? It was insane. And I bought shit like a huge projection tv and went out to eat like every day. I started getting big orders from overseas that were stolen cards. The world had caught up to the internet and started gaming it as they always do. I got burned a couple of times then learned the signals for fraud cards. At this point I moved to North Carolina. Why? Because I could of course lol. I just picked a place and moved there. I was mobile. This is where it started falling apart. I was burned out from all the hard work to get to that level. I started accepting the bad cards for orders in the thousands out of laziness. Now this parts bad and I?m not proud of it. Then would sit on the merch I had sent to me from the supplier. Then after a month or so I would just return it to him for a full credit never shipping it. And since the cards were stolen, well I got the money. Not cool I know. I was lazy and at that point, I was getting free cash. Sometimes thousands a day. I felt like shit for that. Still kind of do. I ran the store for a bit longer and then got an unbelievable offer for $250K one of my my supplies to buy me out. I was like wtf? I?m from the getto bitches! $250K (or probably $350K in today?s money)? Shit. What was I gunna do with that much money. Ha. He went to the bank and everything but the bank didn?t quite understand the real value of an online property and lending that much money for something that is like virtual in a way. At least his didn?t. And so it fell through. I made a killing during 9/11. I sold about $10,000 worth of gas masks just a few days. Hired my wife?s mom to grab phone orders too. Other highlights are too many to list. Although I will say I bought some celebrity domains and called will ferrel at SNL and told his manager I had his domain. Lol. Also Edward James Olmos called me at my fuckin house and wanted his domain. It was hillrious. He was so pissed off. Why?d you do that? Etc. etc. I?m here talking to a movie star in my basement. So weird. Anyway, I finally got burned out all the way. After all that, I just didn?t want to be tied to the phone and process all the orders and try to keep up on the internet and all the changes and the linking. It?s not why I got into the business ion the first place, to be tied down. Since I couldn?t sell it very easy, I just gave up and actually gave it, the whole fuckin thing to the original guy who had me move out to Washington. I figured I owed him. Dumb I know. He had his son run it and run it he did, right into the ground. When you took me off the project, it just died. Anyway, I don?t know if that floats anyone?s boat to hear this tale but it was a wild ride at the internet?s very beginning and I?m thankful for it. I sold packages of how to make money online at ebay for a while. One for $7K. Ebay called the next day and tried to get that money back. Lol. Suckers. Spent it right away. I did other online shit for a while but then I just gave it up all together. I drove semi-truck for many years and saw the country and now I?m finally back to online. I?ve come full circle I guess. I built pumpjunkes.com an authority bodybuilding site as my first online venture and sold it for a really good profit on flippa (the guy has since taken it down and just kept the youtube channel from it. Dumbass lol) and now I?m on youtube with 3.5 million hits and about $40 a day. That?s a far cry from $30K a month I?ll be honest with you. I?m rededicating myself to online now though. I quit my job and now I?m working 8-9 hours a day 6 days a week at IM. We?ll see where this goes. Maybe lighting can strike twice. Who knows.