5 years ago, in November 2010, Bold and Determined published it's very first article.
The first article ever published was about lifting weights.
The second article ever published was about making money and taking advantage of opportunity.
So much for having changed.
When I look back on 5 years of Bold and Determined only one word comes to mind:
When I started this I knew I would make a living at it, but that's all I knew.
I didn't know how much money I would make, and I never even cared. Enough to support myself was all I ever envisioned.
Let's backtrack 5 years though…
It was 2010 and I was 28 years old.
I had made money as an entrepreneur for a couple of years but I was burnt out, really I was bored.
I was suffering from what medical doctors describe as “being a mopey little bitch”.
It seems like all I did every day was lift weights, train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, walk my dogs, deposit checks and cook chicken wings.
I had downsized from a nice three bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment in the seedy part of town.
I was trimming down to live Spartan. I didn't necessarily know why, but I was getting rid of everything I owned.
I wasn't working in any traditional sense. The business only required a few phone calls and trips to the bank.
I was so bored that I was out walking my dogs one day and I thought “I'd take a part time job walking dogs just to have something to do“.
Something was missing.
I wanted to go out and do something worthwhile but I didn't know what to do and I didn't know how to do it.
I had read the Four Hour Workweek and I knew that living abroad and making money online was possible.
I knew I wanted to travel and live abroad for a while, but I had no idea how to make money while doing it.
I just knew that it was possible, but I didn't know how.
I was still making a monthly income but it had started to dwindle and I knew it wouldn't last forever.
At lunch one day, a friend of mine told me that a mutual friend went to China to teach english.
I said “What? Americans can go teach english in China?”
I'd never heard of that in my entire life, but I thought it sounded interesting.
One night I was watching a movie called Red Rock West.
The movie is about a drifter who drifts into a murder plot. At the end of the movie he hops a freight train to somewhere new.
The song playing over the credits hit me like a ton of bricks…
I'm a thousand miles from nowhere
Time don't matter to me
‘Cause I'm a thousand miles from nowhere
And there's no place I want to be
-Dwight Yoakam, A Thousand Miles From Nowhere
Sounded just like me, I thought.
Two weeks later I was at the Chinese embassy in Houston getting my visa ready.
I had found a job on craigslist, teaching english in China for 5,500 CNY (about $800) per month. They provided a free apartment and took care of my visa and only wanted me to work on Saturday and Sunday.
China could not be further from the US and I thought that sounds like something new and interesting to try.
I didn't know anything about China, I didn't know anything about teaching English and I didn't care.
I just wanted to do something different.
I took a chance, I hopped on a plane (3 actually), spent 30 hours in transit, and flew 6,890 miles to the other side of the world.
I got to China and there was no place I would have rather been (even though the first night there was the loneliest of my entire life).
I had never even left the United States before then.
BOLD AND DETERMINED 2011
I started B&D in November 2010 and in February 2011 I was in China.
In China I had 5 free days per week, which I typically spent in the gym, writing, and still running business back home in America.
In China I ate two meals per day, every day.
There were no western snacks so for a year I didn't eat any snacks at all. I had abs of steel from that diet.
I would go to the gym a minimum of 6 times per week, but more often I would be there 10 times per week.
I'd be in the gym as many as 12 days in a row.
That entire year I developed Body of a Spartan at the gym in China.
For a whole year I did no other routine, I spent the entire year perfecting Body of a Spartan.
My time in China was like spending a year in boot camp.
I had no great food to eat, but I had the gym, I had a computer and I had the drive and the will.
Did China cure my malaise?
Yes, it did.
I didn't care for teaching english, but the experience in China had me burning for more out of life.
I came back reinvigorated.
I was on fire for bigger success.
2011 was the first full year of Bold and Determined.
At the end of that year in China is when Bold and Determined really started to take shape, and it started with 10 Reasons to Stop Using Internet Porn in October 2011 (it is still the most popular article on B&D).
I had spent that year writing, but towards the end of the year I started learning digital business.
My English teaching contract was expiring soon and I didn't want to live on savings, I needed to put the time in to learn digital business.
That's when I started putting the pieces together about how to actually make money online, not just write.
I put everything I learned into The No Bullshit Guide to Making Money Online in December 2011.
BOLD AND DETERMINED 2012
I spent exactly one year in China…
After a year in China I went back to America for 6 months.
When I got back to America I worked my ass off, on the computer and in the gym.
After a year of starving myself, I ate like a king and my body soaked up all the calories it had been deprived of in China.
I went from a low of 170 lbs in China to a high of 207 lbs in America (with some help).
I was finally able to get good haircuts, so instead of cutting my own hair I'd get a nice high and tight every week.
That 6 months in America was an epiphany, it was as if destiny revealed herself to me, and it was truly the real start of Bold and Determined. China was just a warmup.
I had written 30 Days of Discipline in China and gave it away on Christmas day, but in America I learned how to sell it.
During that time I also put Body of a Spartan on paper and sold it.
And that's all she wrote, boy.
From that day forward I was a full time “blogger”.
I liquidated my remaining real estate holdings, I put everything into B&D and after 6 months in the States I moved to Thailand for some fun in the sun.
America was and is great, but I had the itch for something more.
In August 2012 I moved to Bangkok, Thailand.
The first article I wrote in Thailand was Why Your Testosterone Levels are Lower Than You Think (and what to do about it).
That article took me weeks to write.
For the first year and a half of B&D I tried to focus on quantity of content. I would start writing in the morning and I would publish in the afternoon.
But after the first year and a half, after I moved to Thailand, I tried to focus on quality of content.
The Testosterone article was the first of the articles that took me days, weeks and months to write.
Each article now takes weeks to write (I'm writing this very sentence 16 days before this article will be published).
The quantity brought the readers and the quality kept them.
BOLD AND DETERMINED 2013
After 2012, I lived on easy street.
The time that I put in in China and the US paid off.
2013 was quite a busy year for me, but it wasn't a hard year.
I spent basically the entire year traveling.
2013 was fully recapped in 3 Years of Pride (Happy Birthday to Bold and Determined).
In August 2013 I partnered with John Doe Bodybuilding to start the best bodybuilding blog in the world.
John Doe Bodybuilding now has two books available, and they happen to be the best two bodybuilding books on the market.
BOLD AND DETERMINED 2014
2014 was a year of hammering out all of my “how to make money from a blog” articles, and there is no better “make money” content online than the 2014 B&D archives.
It was in 2014 that we opened BADNET.
In November 2014 I sat down to write the 4 year recap, but I couldn't.
I steamrolled through 4 years without ever looking back, so when I tried to look back in 2014 I was shocked by how far I had come. I was up, then I was down, then I was up again – way up.
In December 2014 I was finally able to recap 4 years of growth in About: Bum Mentality, Money, Mansions, Girls, Heart and Soul, which I feel is the pinnacle of Bold and Determined.
BOLD AND DETERMINED 2015
2015 may have seemed like a slow year to the B&D good news bears, but it went by like lightning for me.
It really went by in the blink of an eye.
In November 2014 I sat down to write the 4 year recap and had such trouble.
That was a year ago like it was yesterday. It's unbelievable that it was an entire year ago.
2015 gave B&D the best financial year we've ever had, and we opened a lot of new doors to new businesses.
The most successful independent, personal development book of the year, Gorilla Mindset, was finished at Pride Castle.
Iron and Tweed
In 2015 I partnered with Iron and Tweed.
To make sure you're stylin' and profilin' like the man himself grab his book Casual Style 101.
Why I do what I do + why it's easy
I recall having a real job.
I recall waking up at 5am to get to the drive-through at the bank by 5:45am.
I recall hating to wake up, hating to drive to work, hating to be at work, hating to come back to work after lunch and hating to do it day after day after day after day after day after day.
Because I've been there, everything I do now is beyond easy.
I say it all the time, because I mean it – the whole process was really easy for me.
That's because I'm doing what I was destined to do.
I never really fell on hard times.
There were times when I saw my bank account running low and thought “I need to fix that” but that's as hard as it ever got.
It wasn't hard for two reasons:
- I had money when I started – I wasn't waiting on a payday from B&D to eat food.
- I was never going to give up, I didn't care how long it took or how much or how little money I made. The message was always first, the money has been a gigantic bonus.
How to be productive
They all work, but there is always one thread that holds my productivity together.
Each and every time I'm laser-focused, I'm drinking coffee.
Each time I have a big article I'm working on, I have mug after mug of coffee.
For me, coffee is and always has been the best productivity enhancer.
Start with an idea and add coffee.
Loving coffee like I do, I'd love to bring RED Coffee to you.
2015 may have seemed like a “slow” year, but I'm always busy behind the scenes working on something.
My newest something is RED Coffee.
I feel it's the best tasting organic coffee ever, and that's why I'm releasing it.
How to learn
People always ask me how I learned and who I went to for guidance.
The answer is google.
I spent hours and hours and hours in China learning from google.
I spent hours researching and learning from anyone and everyone.
I never had a mentor or a teacher. I taught myself through the wonderful power of the internet.
How to write
I might be the only professional writer in the world who doesn't enjoy writing.
Well, let me clarify – I don't enjoy the physical act of typing.
I love words.
I like painting a blank canvas with words and nothing into something.
The way I write is simple….
It starts with an idea.
When the idea has been brewing in my heads for days, weeks, or months…
I write it down.
Then I read it over and over and over again and cut out any unnecessary words.
After I've done that a few hundred times I publish.
Let go to get everything
People who say money doesn't buy happiness never had nothing.
Every day I see people who've got nothing.
Then I go online and see people who have everything – and all they do is complain.
I see people who have a house, dogs, family, cars – everything, and they are miserable.
I don't have any of that.
I got rid of everything 5 years ago. I killed the old me 5 years ago.
I'm as bare-bones, as Spartan as it gets.
I have nothing, all I have is a bunch of money and a mission and I wouldn't have it any other way.
You don't know what you got 'til it's gone.
And you don't learn to enjoy what you've got 'til it's gone.
So learn to let go to learn to appreciate.
My message 5 years ago was to be Spartan.
My message today is be even more Spartan.
I made a big mistake in 2013 when I set a goal to make X amount of money.
At year end I made exactly the amount of money I had envisioned…and it was an awful feeling.
If I had in mind to make X and I made X, why did I not have in mind to make XXXXX instead.
I accomplished my 2013 goal and realized the only goals worth pursuing are goals that likely won't be achieved, because then you can keep working, winning and grinning.
No goals, no end, always on, always working. It doesn't ever stop.
And if you are going to set goals, set them big.
There is no better feeling in the world than working hard all day, then going to the gym to work hard some more, then coming home to work some more.
Going to bed tired and hungry is the only way to live.
Join the Bold & Determined Brotherhood
Start your own badass blog using BADNET – You get a free domain, free WordPress setup and 4 free ebooks that show you how to make that money online.
If you're a coffee lover, get your RED Coffee.
If you're down with the SPARTAN life, grab your SPARTAN shirt.
Read a book. Superdrive Publishing now has 6 titles available.
Until next time,
With all the heart, soul, blood, guts, perspiration, pain and pride I have to give.