Becoming a true entrepreneur is no easy feat. If you’re in the position right now where you’re currently employed and want to “escape the 9–5” or simply want to finally make your side hustle your full-time income, then I’m about to share with you some experiences in my own journey that shaped me who I am today and helped me reach new levels of success.
To be honest with you — it wasn’t easy at all and it’s not necessarily going to be straightforward for you either. Just because you intellectually know the step-by-step process for opening up a company and making yourself a CEO overnight, there’s so much more going on inside of yourself that needs to be discovered, analyzed and transformed, to fully become an entrepreneur who has the ability to be successful and resilient to life’s constant challenges.
Business is mostly a mindset game — the more you know about yourself, the faster you can learn, grow, adapt, and understand about other people, the faster you will get the edge you need to succeed. Without the right mindset, you will fail, guaranteed!
The good news is that you have everything you need right now to shift your mindset, starting right this moment. All you need is the desire, commitment and willingness to accept change in your life. And yes, that comes at a price & sacrifice, like anything worthwhile in life…
A (Real & Raw) Journey
Let me share my story, so you can get a glimpse of where my mind was at before I truly made the shift into being an entrepreneur…
Back in 2012, I was about 60% through my university degree, finishing my Bachelor of Computer Science. What I didn’t know back then is I was soon about to discover the world of online marketing, that would change the direction of my life, forever.
At this point in my life, I was already about 2 years into the journey of discovering the world of personal development and learning about psychology and human potential. It fascinated me how anyone, no matter what their history, background, or knowledge, could improve themselves to achieve anything they wanted to, as long as they had that burning desire inside themselves.
The fact was, back then I was still lost and wasn’t really sure why I was still plodding through my degree, or what my calling in life was. I was desperately seeking the truth about who I was and what my purpose in life was. After all, at 22 years old I was still in the early stages of learning about myself and discovering new things. Like most young adults, I had no direction and was simply going to university because my parents wanted me to have a degree, so I could get a stable job and be happy. Since computers were the main thing I was into since I was 14, and I was good at them, that’s the direction I took.
In the 3rd year of university, somebody recommended a book that they recommended I should read, about a man who went from being broke and homeless to becoming an internet marketing millionaire — a classes rags to riches story. However true it may have been, I was nevertheless instantly converted into the idea that I too wanted to become someone like him who had the freedom, passive income, and choices to do whatever I wanted.
Reading about everyday people who went from being stuck in dead-end jobs to making $10K+ per month in passive income, was intoxicating. I no longer wanted to join the flock of people chasing the traditional “get a job, work hard, get married, buy a house, have kids, grow old, die” kind of lifestyle that society had been drilling into everyone’s heads. This ‘laptop millionaire lifestyle’ was something new and truly exciting for me, opening up possibilities I had never before even imagined in my wildest dreams.
I was committed in my mind that I would become an internet marketing millionaire, and soon after joined an online community of internet marketers from whom I started to learn the foundations.
Not long after, I had my first few paying clients, creating websites and graphic designs for them. Word spread quickly, and these clients started sending me referrals because they loved my work and my honest and professional approach.
The problem with all of this was I was already headed on a path doomed to failure because my mindset was still locked to my limited perceptions and beliefs I still had. Little did I know that it would take me over 5 years to finally realize how important mindset actually was to success.
My thinking was still at the level of a business opportunity seeker, which is basically someone who constantly gets distracted at the shiny new opportunities to “make money online” or “get rich quick”. And truth is, it wasn’t entirely my fault… I was being sold this lie in many of the books I had read, and the marketing and sales messages I was being bombarded with as I started discovering ways how to build up more income streams online.
I was always seeking the newest ways “how to make money online” or the quickest, easiest, most convenient, cheapest, effort-free way to never have to work again. And guess what? All of it is a complete lie, because it just doesn’t work that way. There is no shortcut to success. But I didn’t know that at the time…
Yes, I had some success in my business, but I didn’t end up making much money… rather, I was breaking and sometimes even falling short of paying basic living expenses, which actually kept fueling my frustration and anger about why I wasn’t getting ahead. The more struggles I faced and the more difficulties or disappointments I seemed to attract, the more I felt disillusioned and angry about not being able to achieve my dream.
But still, I kept on keeping on, trying to find that “next thing” that would be the answer to all of my pains — the thing that would be the one to make me that passive income and would set me free to never having to work again. Ha! If only I knew what I know today…
January 2014 — I was finishing off my last semester at university and couldn’t wait to get my degree paper and be done with it, so I could run my (hopefully-soon-to-be-fulltime) business. But the reality was, I was not even close to that stage yet…
In fact, in the previous years I had to still secure part-time jobs to supplement my income and worked at jobs such as being a dishwasher, prep cook, IT support trainee, doughnut maker, and waiter at a sushi restaurant, to name a few. Although there is nothing wrong with these types of jobs, I personally felt like I was a failure by having to work at a minimum wage job (which I hated) while knowing I had a wealth of knowledge and skills gained from my computer experience and already being a digital marketing freelancer in my spare time. It just didn’t make sense or seem fair to me.
That winter, I met a girl online randomly through Facebook and we hit it off. We ended up dating online for 5 months and the relationship became serious to the point where I decided to move to London, England from Nova Scotia, Canada to live with her. I admit, despite it seeming like a ballsy or courageous move, I was completely naive and blinded by my perceptions of the type of person I wanted to believe she was. Anyone objectively would have been able to point out the red flags in advance, that it wasn’t a healthy relationship and would only end in heartbreak.
But, I still didn’t see the warning signs, because I had a fixed perception at the time. My ultimate goal was to design the life of my dreams(different from my parents!), forge my own path forward, become that successful business owner & millionaire, and create the life of my dreams. The thing is, I wasn’t yet aware of my shadows that were sabotaging those dreams every step of the way.
May 2014 — just 3 days after I graduated from university, I packed everything I thought I would need to start a new life, into 2 big suitcases and flew off to London, England. With $4,000 CAD of my mom’s borrowed money in the bank, I had it in my mind (or so I convinced myself) that I was still an entrepreneur, even though the fact was, I wasn’t even close to supporting myself at the time.
Within just a week, my girlfriend started to amp up the pressure to get me to apply to jobs. That was the last thing I wanted to do, and it killed me inside at the thought that I had to get a 9–5 still… after all, “I was an entrepreneur”, I still convinced myself…
I ended up living in a tiny room at her sister’s house in Surrey, London for about 2–3 months while I was sending out job applications to secure a role. My desire to actually get a job was 0%, but I did it because I wanted to make the relationship work. It wasn’t soon after that I ended up moving into my girlfriend’s mom’s place where she lived, because I couldn’t even afford to get my own place… I know what you’re thinking — lame!…
Eventually, after several interviews, on November 18th, 2014, I got offered a position as an IT Support Specialist for a tech company in Green Park, London. It required me to work 7am to 3pm shifts, which gave me time in the afternoons and evenings to work on my online business. Surely, I thought, this could give me a chance to build myself up in my spare time…
My sole purpose was to “Escape the 9–5”. That was my single most-burning drive and my focused purpose for creating a successful business. Not because I necessarily enjoyed it, but to escape from something I couldn’t make peace with — myself.
The truth was that I was still just a boy inside, avoiding to face the inner battle of the unresolved wounds of my childhood and limiting beliefs that were stopping me from the very dreams I was chasing. I was my own worst enemy. I was 100% responsible for the life I had created. It was too hard of a pill for me to swallow. It didn’t matter how badly I wanted to live the dream, because the cold-hard fact was the harder I tried, the harder life hit me in the face to show me that actually I was never going to achieve it with the mindset I had.
Meanwhile, all along I had thought my girlfriend was “the one” and I had gotten engaged to her only a year after I moved to the UK, I soon realized after our engagement, that she wasn’t right for me. I had pulled the trigger too soon, before I really had a chance to get to know her. Thinking I know someone because we lived together, and actually really getting to know them over time in different situations, are two different things, I came to realize. There were core rifts and issue that were becoming more and more apparent day after day that couldn’t be resolved. Everything seemed to be falling apart right in front of my eyes and no matter how much I tried to make it work out, it just got worse. I was trying to “fix” something externally that couldn’t be fixed because I didn’t see that it was actually me who had created this reality in the first place.
I was so unhappy with my life — the relationship, the job (I hopped between 5 different jobs over three years!), and my frustrations of being “stuck” and not being able to make my business my full-time gig despite my hardcore evening hustling, was so soul-crushing. To add to that, I had gotten myself into some seriously deep credit card debt over the years, because of my lack of money management skills, which continued to add stress to my life. At one point I was paying as much as half my paycheck on repayments!
Then one day, in the spring of 2016, I had had enough. Something snapped inside of me and I realized that it was time I had to finally stand on my own two feet. I won’t go into the exact details, because it’s not relevant, but my fiancé and I had an argument in the park about some difference in opnion and her explosive reaction finally made me take the plunge and end it. I packed my bags and all my belongings and went to one of my friend’s places to stay for a few weeks while I looked for my own place to rent.
It was from that day, I really started to learn more about who I was. After a found a place in Bromley, Kent (Greater London), I started to take positive steps forward toward healing myself. I began working on discovering my limiting beliefs about money, success, wealth, and start healing my emotional wounds from childhood by facing painful memories. Even though the post-breakup fallout lasted over a year afterwards, I started to really get to know myself and what I needed to work on.
I worked with some amazing people who supported me in the process to release these emotions and integrate them. I started to shift my mindset from a lack and fear mentality to one of more abundance and faith. Yes, I was still unhappy while I was working at my job at the time, but I had hope and felt I was making major progress inside of myself.
Over the next 18 months, I made many close friends and started to move from boyhood to becoming a man. It required facing the dark parts of myself and realizing that all along, I had been a spineless Mr Nice Guy who was always seeking external validation to try to build his image of self-worth around. I needed to start to learn to love myself and give myself the self-respect I deserved.
In the summer of 2016, I was able to secure an opportunity to be mentored by the same millionaire I had read about in that book many years before. I gained more confidence in myself as I learned how important my subconscious belief system was to build a successful business, and I made quite a lot of shifts that year.
Within that 12-month period from August 2016, I started to make passive income on YouTube, wrote my book How To Make $100,000 Thanks To YouTube, and in January 2017, I quit my day job to finally become a full-time entrepreneur.
Was it scary? Hell yes! Was I finally happy that I achieved my long-awated goal? Actually… far from it. Even though I had “escaped” the 9–5, my victory was short-lived and I began to feel empty inside. My whole striving to become a full-time entrepreneur was actually just a means to escape, and now that I had achieved that, there was an empty void inside. ‘What was my purpose? What do I do with my time? What am I making money for? Who am I?’ These thoughts started creeping into my mind and it took a few months to gain my bearings and actually start to build a new purpose and direction for my life.
Even though my ex-employer agreed to become my first client, which made the financial transition much easier, I was still shit scared about the chances of my income drying up all of a sudden. I had to develop the faith that I would be taken care of, that the right opportunities and people would come into my life at the right time to support me. And once I started to practice that trust in the universe, things did actually work out, every single time. Sure, there were struggles and points where I was on the edge of giving up, but just at the last moment, there was an invisible hand to guide me to the next client to tie me over for another few weeks or month.
I began shifting my mindset from “how do I make money to escape from my shitty life” to “how do I add value to help others while doing what I love”. The shift from “getting” to “giving”, from “consuming” to “creating”, and from “fearing” to “having faith” changed my life.
By the summer of 2017, I was finally getting a taste of the entrepreneur lifestyle. There I was, sitting on the beach in Ibiza on a Monday morning, my (new) girlfriend in my arm, thinking “Wow, right now if I was still in a job, I’d be stuck in an office, but here I am, on the beach, living the dream”, and feeling so grateful for all that was happening in my life. That summer I flexed my freedom muscles as I began to travel more and enjoy the freedom of being my own boss.
My YouTube marketing & consulting business was growing and I started attracting more and more clients, to the point where, even when my ex-employer client didn’t need my services anymore, I was already fully independent.
Fast forward to 2021 — so much has changed in my life and who I am as a person, that even three years ago feels like ten years ago. I have embraced my authentic self and an able to be truly me, without shame, guilt, or feeling like I need to please anyone around me. I’ve been able to build up multiple businesses, passive income streams, and a six-figure income business across multiple companies, that gives me a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle. I have attracted the love of my life and I’m happier than I have ever been in my life.
Are things perfect? No, but nothing ever will be perfect in this world, and that’s the real truth. But what I’ve come to accept is that life is what you make it and it all starts from inside my mind. The perfect business is the one I choose to create. The perfect life is the one that I first create in my mind and feel in my heart. The perfect partner is the one I attract naturally because I choose to love, respect, value, accept, and forgive myself first. Everything is about energy and what I consciously or subconsciously put out into the universe is exactly what I will attract back to me.
So to make that shift from an employee mindset to an entrepreneur mindset, I had to first become someone who embodied the energy, beliefs, and mindset of a true entrepreneur. I had to let go of all of the energy blocks that stopped me from attracting abundance and kept me in a state of fear.
There’s no step-by-step formula. Every person has their own journey to peel back layer by layer of their inner selves, and it’s a unique path of self-discovery that will lead you to exactly where you need to go to get to the next step.
If I can leave you with one quote that beautifully sums up faith, it’s this: “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” — Albert Einstein. In other words, whichever way you choose to see things, you are right, every time. So choose wisely!