Why I Quit My 6-Figure Job to Flip Websites for a Living

– Years ago, I quit a job that was
paying me $135,000 per year. A job that was totally
stable and had great benefits like a 401k and complete
medical and dental coverage. A job that I had spent
six years in school for getting a master's degree. Fast forward to today, I work
from home doing what I love, building and selling websites for a living and I earn much more in a month
than I did in a whole year at the old job. (crowd cheering joyfully) (static buzzing) But here's the kicker. I made a lot of mistakes along the way and I probably could've
gotten here in half the time.

So in this video I'm gonna
walk you through my journey so you don't have to make
the same mistakes that I did. I'm gonna specifically point
out everything I did wrong and what I eventually
learned was the right way to run an online business. And if you're an online
business entrepreneur trying to hit your stride,
this video is for you. But before we get rolling, could I ask for a little
smash to the Like button? The simple press to the Like button does a lot to help my channel, so I really appreciate your
help in that department. Let's get started. So for university, I went to
the University of California, San Diego to study electrical engineering and then after I graduated, I did what any good
electrical engineer would do, I got a job as one, working for a Silicon
Valley startup company and eventually making
about $135,000 per year. But the truth of the whole situation, even though that sounds all fine and dandy is I was working 12 hour
days, not counting the commute just to get to the office and back.

Now let me explain a little
bit about the business that I was working for. We were a software company
and we provided a software that allowed different businesses like Intel and Qualcomm, Broadcom, all these big tech startup
companies to manufacture and build microchips. So it was very common that
we'd have an onsite office at one of our customer
sites where we could work and support them directly. Well, my particular no window office was right smack in the middle
of all the other engineers that are super stressed out
working there 12 hour days and they're trying to dump
as much work as possible on the vendor who they're paying anyways. In our particular area of engineering, it was very common in the
politics to have your meetings, invite in the vendor, show
off in front of your boss by literally giving a verbal
beat down to the vendor in order to show off
and gain more standing within your own company.

(panting loudly) (static buzzing) So here I am working my 12 hour days, getting freaking owned
every second of the way and dreading every part of it. Needless to say, it
started to wear down on me and one of my friends happened
to notice me struggling and he handed me a very
special book to him. That book was called "The 4-Hour Workweek" and guess what I did with it. (air whooshing) I threw that (beep) away. I was so indoctrinated in the whole path of going to university,
working hard in company and working your way up the social ladder that it couldn't possibly imagine that there was another way of doing things that really required four
hours of work per week. It was insulting, but eventually
after going after work and really, really hating my life, eventually I picked up that book again and started to give it a read. And a couple of the major
themes that I found in the book were one, the internet is
a great place to make money and two there's this
thing called WordPress, where anyone can just make a website as long as you understand
the complexities of let's say Microsoft Word.

So a buddy of mine, a
guy named Robert Rock who actually owns Rank Club
right now, started to brainstorm and started to study
this "4-Hour Workweek" and tried to think of different
kinds of online businesses or websites or blogs that
we can make to earn money. I have no idea how we thought of this, but we decided to make a
website called caveday.com, which was basically just a
blog about the stupid (beep) we did on the weekends. Stuff like getting super drunk at clubs and being hung over the next day and figuring out how to survive. We made stupid posts like the
worst thing to do in hungover or the Burning Man
hangover survival guide. I have no idea how it happened
but we ended up monetizing it by selling banner ads to
hangover drink companies and stuff like that.

We even tried monetizing it by throwing up some
Amazon affiliate stuffs like breathalyzers but they never sold. The problem with this site is there was just no
keyword volume whatsoever on any of the stuff we were writing about. We didn't even know what
keyword research was. We were just blogging and writing because somehow we heard somewhere that that's what you should be doing. So here's lesson number one, blogging about your passions is great but it doesn't matter at all
if no one is searching for what you're writing about.

You got to be super intentional
about your keyword research, especially if you're
doing anything like SEO. So the website completely failed, never made more than maybe $500 a month or something like that. Was I discouraged? You know, not really. I had come from a completely
rat race mentality and I never thought I was
gonna hit it out of the park on the first try.

Hitting out of the park in the
first try is for people like Tim Ferriss, geniuses like that. So it became more about, how can it be a little bit more like Tim? Where is caveday.com now? Guys, it's not even registered. That's how useless of a job we did for it. No one even repurposed it and
used it for anything else, it's not even a PBN. So the name of the game right now is how to be a little bit
more like Tim Ferriss. I ended up digging in more
into the "4-Hour Workweek" and I ended up joining a meetup.com group that was actually studying
and meeting together, discussing the "4-Hour Workweek" and holding accountability for each other to see their projects through. At the time, everybody in
the "4-Hour Workweek" meetup was doing something called
The 30 Day Challenge. The 30 Day Challenge was
something that came out by a marketer named Ed Dale, and was a pretty cool
concept for an SEO course.

Basically what they would do is every day, they would email you a new
step in the process of ranking and monetizing an affiliate website. So the first day they'll tell
you to register a domain name, second day you're gonna set
up hosting and step-by-step and then by the end of the 30 days, you should have hopefully
made a dollar online, awesome concept. But the most awesome
thing about this course was that for me, it had keyword research which is exactly what
I needed at the time. So we'd use a software
called Market Samurai in order to find
low-hanging fruit keywords in terms of competition so we could rank and eventually monetize them.

Thus was born yogatraveller.com,
yoga-traveler.com, that's how high and this one was. So at the time I was
just following the advice of doing whatever you're passionate about. So I was passionate about yoga, I was passionate about travel, so let's make a website
about yoga and travel and now that I had keyword
research on my side, what could possibly go wrong? – Alright, alright, alright! – So eventually the
website started ranking for keywords like yoga
travel and yoga retreats and stuff that. So I decided to monetize
it by selling banner ads and doing particular reviews
of different yoga retreats for one-off money. The only problem with this is while I was making
more money than Caveday, it just wasn't passive at all. I had to actually seek out yoga
retreats, pitch them stuff, give them a media pack
or something like that and then they might
give me 200 bucks a pop. I mean, the coolest thing about it is that I would get free
trips to a yoga retreat so I could review these things.

I tried putting up one of those
old school Amazon A-stores on the site to see if it
would sell any products like yoga mats and yoga straps and all that kind of good
stuff, but nothing ever sold and the problem was Yoga Travel is not a buyer oriented keyword. It has nothing to do with purchasing, people are just looking for
information on yoga and travel on yoga retreats, so not
ready to buy anything. In addition to that, yoga and travel doesn't
solve any major problems. Going to a yoga retreat is a
nice to have, not a must have. So this pro tip lesson number two, if you're starting an online business, try to go for a business
that's solving a major problem and you'll have a much easier
time converting your visitors. Was I discouraged this time around? You betcha I was. I felt like I didn't
have any business sense. I felt like I just didn't know what would make a new business do well and there were people around
me at that meetup.com meetup that were just crushing it
and some with really nice and unique ideas and I was just like, why didn't I have this idea of myself? But I knew what I did wrong so it wasn't time to give up now.

Where is yogatraveller.com right now? Well, eventually it became a PBN but it wasn't even good at
that and someone let it go. So at this point in time
I had two lessons already that were nailed home with me. You got to do a keyword research and you got to go for keywords
that have high buyer intent. So I fired up Market Samurai again, and I found a super interesting keyword called Best Kneeling Chairs and it solved all these
problems I needed solved. This keyword had low competition,
decent search volume, it solved a problem and
had high buyer intent. Now it would be a complete
understatement if I said that work was getting pretty
bad at this point in time. I was starting to get severely depressed. I looked around me and saw the trajectory of where I was headed
with the senior management and I saw unhappy people all around me that were completely stressed out. So on the weekends, I would
just party my freaking ass off.

I would go out, just get
completely obliterated just to make myself
feel a little bit better about the existence I was
going to on Monday again. But thankfully, slowly
the ergonomic chair site, the kneeling chair site
started to make more money, eventually earning one and then 2K and then sometimes even having 3K months. The feeling of actually making
some decent money online was indescribable. I felt like I finally cracked the code. Some part of me thought it was a fluke and that it could all go away, but I knew that the real
risk was staying where I was at this job and I had to
do something about it.

So I handed in my resignation letter and boy, did that feel good. And remember, before I told
you how I really loved travel, I decided I'm finally gonna
do what I wanted to do for a very long time, which is
become a traveler full time. So I sold all my stuff and
decided to book a one-way ticket to Thailand. I knew I'd like Thailand because
I've been traveling there every single year in order to help me cope with my work existence and
I had always knew deep down that I felt really comfortable especially in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I was gonna set up shop.

I was so excited to get there. But what I was even more excited about is when I actually got to
Chiang Mai, I got settled in and started working and started
networking a little bit, I realized that Chiang Mai was
one of the biggest SEO hubs in the world. At the time there were
folks like Glenn Allsopp, Daryl Rosser, Brendan
Tolley and Kurt Philip, just doing their thing, doing their SEO in Chiang Mai Thailand. The network was amazing and
at that time as I scaling up, I also decided it would be a good idea to find myself a mentor,
which brings us into pro tip number three. If you happen to find a profitable
niche, especially in SEO, build more websites to blanket page one.

So I decided to make three more websites, another kneeling chair clone site, and then another ergonomic chair site selling yoga ball chairs and
then another authority site that was selling both of those things and some other stuff on the side. Things started to really go my way and I broke through my
first five figure a month. I had officially exceeded
my engineering salary and living off that kind of
salary especially in Thailand, I was living like a king. So I really started taking
advantage of digital nomading, spending a lot of time in Bali, Japan, places I've always wanted to live.

But then all of a sudden,
one morning I woke up and I logged into analytics and I found that my
entire portfolio's traffic had gone to nearly zero. There had been a Google update and my five figure per month income had been reduced to about $300 per month. I remember going to one of the local bars and seeing a bunch of
the SEOs that were there and at least half of them said,
"enough is enough, I quit." Even poor caveday.com got annihilated. The reason that I got hit and the problem that I
eventually identified after a lot of introspection
is that I got lazy. Things were going right in
my SEO game and I decided, you know what, if something
sounds like a good idea, I'm just gonna try that out and we'll just deploy it on all the sites. I was kicking ass and everything
I touched turned to gold, so I didn't bother checking
up on a new SEO tactic that someone was throwing my way. So after some really hard
self-talk with myself, I eventually came out the
other side because I realized you know what, I'm an engineer, I know how to do this stuff,
I've done this before.

I was setting up single
variable testing all the time and testing different tactics, assessing different software
in control environments to make sure it had a positive result on the other side of
that test, I can do this. So from that day forward, I
decided to test everything. Nothing would enter my process
unless it was already tested in a controlled environment and proven to give a positive result. I tested backlink strategies,
onsite SEO strategies and a lot of conversion rate
and monetization strategies. And this brings me to
summarize pro tip number four, never trust anything that
you read on the internet especially when it comes
to how to run your business And especially if you're
doing any kind of SEO. You need to test everything
and once you set up a process that allows you to do tests
like this in the systematized and repeatable way, you're
really gonna start leveling up in your SEO game.

So at this point in time,
SEO got a lot easier and it finally started
feeling like I actually knew what I was doing now. Here's one of the biggest
keywords I ranked for getting to top five for 1.8
million search per month buyer oriented keyword. Here's a traffic spike getting
to nearly 80,000 visitors per day for the hit toy of the year. Here's a bunch of green arrows, which I got used to my
rank trackers looking like. I even recovered all the
ergonomic chair sites that died earlier. I was able to compete in
much harder niches too.

There was a diet pill
called Garcinia Cambogia and we went after that
niche with a partner of mine and this is the first time I ever broke six figures per month. He made so much money from
this that he actually retired in Costa Rica, build a
sustainable house and farm and he's still enjoying it ever since. And despite everything going
so well, I hit another wall. (loud slaps) (static buzzing) I had so many sites at
this point in my portfolio, then I was just running out of time.

I was again working 60 hour weeks. Everything that I ran
away from at my old job, I actually unconsciously
recreated it for myself here in Thailand. One of the problems I had is I was really, really growth focused. So if I had a website that
was making $20,000 per month, I would actually take about 18,000 of that and use that to build three more websites, hopefully with the goal
of expanding the portfolio and making more than $20,000 per month. But the problem is if
you take all that revenue and spend it, you only
end up with $2,000 profit.

One of my buddies noticed
that I was struggling, I was unhappy and I needed some help and I told them about
the problem I was having, just getting so bogged down in the business that I created for myself. He told me, "why don't you
go flip your websites?" At the time I only knew about flippa.com and that one time I sold a
World of Warcraft character on eBay and the guy
actually did a chargeback and I lost the whole dang thing, so I didn't have a good experience with selling any kind of
assets on the internet.

I'm friends with these
guys called Empire Flippers and what they do is they're a brokerage. You'll be able to sell
your website through them, they'll do all the work,
they'll handle all the vetting, they'll find you a buyer, they're gonna take a fee of like 15%, but they'll probably sell
your website for 15% higher than if you try to sell
it yourself anyways. So I flipped a batch of my
old ergonomic chair sites for over $100,000. This was a huge light bulb moment for me. You can actually sell a website right now which is like taking a
time machine in the future, collecting all the monthly
earnings up until that point and getting it right now
so you can invest them into other businesses. In the meantime, all the work you would
have put in that website is gotten back to you immediately. All the time you would
put in that website, all the financial resources
you would have put into it and you de-risk.

If anything happened to that website, which does happen to any business, it's not your problem anymore. So here's your next pro tip. If you sell a website, you
can get nearly a 48X multiple on your business on your monthly profit. Your site, that's making $5,000 per month can sell for $240,000 and
that only becomes a bad idea if you're not able to
produce another $5,000 site with a huge cash injection of $240,000 and you have four years to do it. The flipping model became
a huge game changer for the business that I
founded called Lead Spring. We're an agency that is completely set up for building, ranking, monetizing and eventually flipping
affiliate websites. We recently sold the
website for over $600,000 and I've left a link to a video case study in the description down below.

We also have other big goals. We have another website that we're growing into
a huge household brand that will eventually flip
for hopefully eight figures. In the process of growing Lead Spring, we will bring in on a lot of new talent, making a lot of new hires. So we decided to make a training program to get them up to speed quickly
on the standards we have for building and ranking
and monetizing websites. Eventually we decided let's
stop keeping this to ourselves and let's share this with others and we eventually made this into a course called the Affiliate Lab. Then eventually we opened a
JV department at Lead Spring where we would actually partner
with existing businesses, businesses that can continue
doing what they're best at but we would handle the Lead generation and traffic generation and then take some equity in the business.

And I see there's a big path
to our growth that Lead Spring going forward. Now the point I'm trying to
make by telling the story is that everyone has a bumpy start in this whole journey of entrepreneurship. We're all figuring it out as we go along. If you want some more evidence of this, read Elon's biography or
Phil Knight "Shoe Dog" the founder of Nike. Even the greats make huge
mistakes and fail consistently. So if you hit a roadblock and
get set back in your journey, the only problem with that
is if you don't learn from it and at the very least passing
that knowledge onto others, so they don't have to learn
these lessons the hard way too. And make sure to subscribe
for more videos like these. (mellow music).

As found on YouTube

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About the Author: Wilson Phillips

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