Jun 20, 2011
I Was Just Like You… Then I Became a Millionaire. My Story. Posted by Jamie Harrop - 19 Comments
Photo by Marcel Germain
I was just like you. I blogged for years and made little money. Pennies, not pounds. Cents, not dollars. I enjoyed what I did. I loved the gentle tap of the fingers. I loved the feeling of a new post going live. But I didn’t love the struggle to develop new ideas. The struggle to start a new post. The struggle to survive as a blogger in an ever growing and distant abyss of excellence.
I sat at my desk each day staring in to space while others worked around me. They didn’t like their job. Neither did I. I dreamt about leaving this world of grey. Grey suits. Grey desks. Grey air. Grey life.
Some days I’d write. Other days I’d stare with fright. Sometimes I’d feel motivated and passionate, and other days I felt illiterate.
I cared about my dreams. I wanted out of my dark apartment and I wanted out of the 9 to 5. I wanted out of this black and grey that had encased me. This was my dream…. An impossible dream.
‘Impossible’ isn’t Possible
It was late 2009 when I had a conversation with a friend. He was still in hospital but able to talk. Four weeks before he’d been on his death bed, in an induced coma at the hands of the intensive care nurses. He’d been hit by a lorry. Both legs and two ribs were broke, and his left lung punctured. The paramedics revived him once on the roadside, and the nurses once in the hospital.
He was told he’d never walk again. He was told he’d never drive again. He was told he’d need to be cared for 24 hours a day. He told them only he knew his body, and he knew what he’d do.
My friend nearly died, but that wasn’t the most amazing part of his story.
The Realisation – The Hope
I sat with him four weeks after the accident and I listened. He told me he would walk again. He told me he would drive again. He told me he will not be cared for, but will care for others.
He told me that not only will he walk again, he will run again. And he told me that not only will be run again, he will climb the highest peaks on every continent within five years. Including Everest.
His outlook on life changed. Life was too short to sit still. Life was too short to be stuck amongst the black and grey.
I listened to my friend talk, and I listened to the powerful determination in his voice. I didn’t say a word. I just nodded as he inspired me with the language escaping from the depths of his heart. And then he said something that changed my life. One paragraph, one emotion, one life changed in an instant.
“Don’t ever sit still. Don’t ever relax. Be busy every day, all day. Make every breath count. Run that marathon. Climb that mountain. Thank that friend. Visit that destination. Leave that job. Make that business succeed. Use every pump of that heart for good. Make every squeeze of that lung count. Do what you were born to do… live! Do it now, for tomorrow you may be dead!”
And so that’s what I did. I walked away from the hospital that day with a renewed love of life. A renewed energy and strength to do what I truly wanted to do.
That night, I went home and wrote a blog post. My story. My admission. My emotions poured out on a plate of public display. I also wrote my letter of resignation and addressed it to my boss.
I handed my boss my notice the next day, and walked away from the job just two weeks later. I had little money, little support, and even less sleep for the next three months. But I had my friends words in my head, and that’s all I needed.
Through sleepless nights and fear, through tears and knocks of confidence, I continued to write blog posts and articles for offline media. I wrote constantly for three months, and for the entire three months I endured the negativity of those around me. “What are you doing?” they asked. “You’re not going to earn money doing this!” they said. Oh, how they were wrong!
Three months, four days and five hours after I left my job (yes, I was counting!), my big break came. A guest post I wrote for a high profile blog sparked a huge amount of social media interest. The story within the post was then picked up by the mainstream media.
My story was published around the world, and my brand was solidified. I soon started receiving paid writing offers, and within three weeks of receiving the media coverage I had earned nearly $4,500.
Today, I live on an island in the Pacific. My apartment overlooks the ocean, I have no debt, and I’m earning an average of $20,000 a month, combining a mixture of affiliate marketing, writing and Web design. The friend that started me on this course is currently sat beside me as I write this. He’s staying with me for three weeks to recover after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. He’s well on course to climb all the highest peaks in the world, just like he said he would.
I Was Once Like You…
I was once like you… I believed everything I read. I’m still like you, because this story isn’t true.
I’m not a millionaire. I don’t live on a remote island. And my friend didn’t get run over by a lorry. You can read more about my actual life elsewhere.
Don’t believe everything you read on a blog. It’s far too easy to lie.
The fact is, stories work incredibly well for capturing the attention of readers. They play on readers emotions. They relate to their own lives. And they have the ability to build suspense and surprise. Don’t believe everything you read in the blogosphere, but do use stories to capture the imagination of your readers.
Please share this post on Twitter, and let others realise the power of stories. Do you use stories on your blog? Do you enjoy reading stories from others? Let us know in the comments!