Why Leave A Six Figure Corporate Job For Internet Entrepreneurship?

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Sunil contacted me asking if he could apply to become a columnist on Entrepreneurs-Journey. I asked him what are the highlights of his “career” as an entrepreneur so I could be confident in his credibility and he had stories to tell that we could all learn from.

It turns out Sunil has done a few things. As you will see in this introductory article, he has plenty of experiences making money in different ways. He only touches on them briefly in this article, but rest assured I will ask him to break down the details of each success he has had so we can learn from his case studies in future articles.

For now, Sunil answers the question of why leave a well paid corporate job to become an online entrepreneur…

My name is Sunil and the title of this blog post refers to me. I have been following Yaro for over a year now and feel privileged to be allowed to write for his blog. Many of you may know me or have heard from me through comments on this blog.

I will be discussing what I have accomplished as an entrepreneur over the years, what I have learned in that time as well as why I pursued “side gigs” despite having a successful career in a Fortune 100 company that paid well in the six figure range.

Before I get into what I have done and why I know what I know, here is a brief background on myself:

My Background

The name is Indian, but I was born in South East Asia (just above Yaro’s homeland) in an upper middle class family of entrepreneurs. My Mom and Dad are not formally educated, but they self-taught how to practice business.

I’m still not sure if it was lack of education, fate, or just pure bad luck, but my Mom and Dad lost it all, gained some back, lost some more and finally stabilized at a much lower level than where they had built themselves up to. The biggest of all losses was my Mom’s passing away when I was only 10. I have seen and been through it all.

I am first generation high school, college and post graduate in my family’s lineage. English is my fourth of five tongues. Professionally, I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), may also be called a Chartered Accountant (CA) on your side of the globe, a Finance Charter-holder and a Certified Financial Planner.

I attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, a top ten business program year-in year-out and love to pretend to brag about it. No matter where I am or what I am doing, my heart still bleeds Maize and Blue on Fall Football Saturdays (GO BLUE!).

Right out of Graduate School, I started my career with one of the big four accounting firms in their M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) practice. I was trading real heavy hours for heavy dollars, and led a very mobile, demanding and by choice, a pressure packed lifestyle.

I travelled all over the world wherever business deals were happening, gained tremendous experience and exposure to the Corporate landscape, and learned invaluable life lessons in my career. By the way, I am also the first in my family’s lineage to work for a paycheck.

Fast forward a few years, I am now living in the United States of America as a naturalized citizen. If you are interested in learning more about my roller coaster life, you can read About Me further on my Blog.

What Have I Done And Why Do I Know What I Know?

I understand my profession. I understand numbers. I understand personal finance. I understand business entity establishment. I understand taxes inside out. I understand wealth building, management, preservation, protection and estate planning. I use my knowledge to my advantage in all I do. I understand entrepreneurship. I understand business.

Without getting into the painful details behind the “how” and in an effort not to go off the road, below are just a few tidbits summarizing how I have put the knowledge learned to use.

Stock Market

In my Junior year in college, I started day trading and grew a $2,000 pot to over $40,000 thanks to a big one-hit wonder. I got carried away and started trading on margin only to lose all $40,000 and then some more out of pocket. This hurt big time.

Outside of that terrible experience when money was most scarce for me, I haven’t gambled much in the market. I have been satisfied with my 8-12% return over the last few years, thanks to a hedge fund that kept my overall return afloat when the market turned sour in the recent past.

I am not a guru in stock trading. In fact I don’t care to be. I don’t mind paying someone 2% of my earnings if that someone is able to generate 12% for me when the best I can do on my own is 8%. The arbitrage simply works.

That said, I have some of my stock portfolio in hedge funds managed by folks I know (I know you are thinking Madoff at this point), and most in vehicles that are on auto-pilot. A small part of my portfolio is purely in speculative plays, but I believe in value investing over time.

I believe in maxing out tax advantageous vehicles like the 401(k) and Roth IRA, and dollar cost investing over time in no to low load mutual funds, including index funds.

Where do I get the money to invest in the markets? From various sources of income that I have established over the years, including the paycheck I receive from my employer.

Real Estate

After college, I studied all aspects of real estate investing for close to a year before I finally bought my first property. I bought it with no money down and a 5% interest rate, thanks to market conditions, a solid, stable cash flow from my job and an excellent FICO score.

I worked out a similar deal the next go around, and the snowball started rolling from there. The zero down days ended shortly, but I was still able to purchase significantly undervalued properties with low down payments and great interest rates, taking into account the option of owner financing (having the seller finance my purchase rather than taking a loan from a bank).

The beauty of real estate is your ability to leverage. Unlike the stock market, where you can leverage 50% at best (also called trading on margin), in real estate you can start controlling a property with as little as 5% of its market value. In “normal” market conditions, 20% is the norm. In real good times like when I started, zero down was not unheard of either.

Because investing in real property doesn’t demand too much out of your pocket, you can utilize your cash in several investments and amplify your cash flow, the money left from rent payments collected after subtracting your mortgage, taxes, association fees, insurance and all other operating expenses.

Real estate especially gets real fun after you pay off one property. That’s because you can take the cash flow from it and expedite the pay-off of another. The more you do this, the more you can parlay the growth of your real estate empire. Paid off properties also have equity that you can tap into when in need.

Real estate is also tangible, something you can see, touch, feel, smell, and taste. The tangible nature of real estate is a huge psychological factor that caters to certain personalities.

For example, my dad wouldn’t touch stocks because he doesn’t understand them. Well, he does a bit, but at the end of the day it is like owning toilet paper or digital currency to him, which rightfully so it is (just with some value attached). On the other hand, he would be all over purchasing real estate as an investment.

Finally, real estate is a hedge against inflation. When I evaluate my real estate portfolio, I give some consideration to the hedge factor as well.

Where do I get the money to invest in real estate? The same places as above. I am proud of and thankful for my success in real estate. I’m no Donald Trump by any means, but I do trump over my own little real estate empire.

Small Business

After having established myself in real estate, I decided to invest in a small business in my community. Ironically, I did not purchase the underlying real estate (which is a risk I was willing to live with). The business however is doing very well today.

I purchased an undervalued business which I knew I could turn around based on a review of the business operations, researching similar businesses in nearby areas, as well as digging deeper into the financials.

Buying an underperforming business at a price well under market is similar to real estate or even buying and selling websites in many ways. Although I knew I would be working in (not on) the business to some extent, the work turned out to be more than I anticipated, at least initially.

Investment in small businesses require knowledge of transactions and the related aspects such as business valuation, due diligence, deal structuring / financing, contracts, etc. I would never recommend this for a novice, but it’s an endeavor well worth getting into providing one has the knowledge, risk appetite, time and resources.

Of all my investments and purchases so far, I’d say this one taught me the most, a lot the hard way, involving significant outflow of cash from my pocket. Yup, I did pay for on the job training. For example, during due diligence I did not check the condition certain equipment which broke on me within a couple months (big mistake!). I had to outlay nearly $30,000 just to replace these.

But hey, not every day is a sunny day now is it? Despite revenues down a good chunk recently due to weak consumption, the business has been a profitable endeavor overall and currently running well with very minimal involvement from me, thanks to a great management team.

Where did I get the money to buy a business? The same avenues as above. It also helps that I arranged seller financing, which meant I didn’t have to take a loan from the bank.

E-Commerce

Outside of hobby sites, which often involved self proclaimed greatness (including modeling pictures of me showing off my chiseled body), my first for-profit initiative online was the establishment of an e-commerce website. Not just any e-comm website, but one that had a unique twist that no one at the time was offering. I still don’t think anyone is.

Two years later, the website was doing very well, with a good number of recurring members. The website generated a little over $60,000 a year in profits, not an earth-shattering amount at all, but was growing at a very fast trajectory.

Because of a variety of reasons, two of which were poor strategic planning and technology issues (I am NOT a techie at all), there were some hard lessons learned in this process as well, including tarnished reputation due to not being able to fulfill certain customer orders.

I consider this business endeavor as an overall success however. Not so much because of the chump change we made (my distribution partner and I), but more so because of the invaluable lessons learned in the process. Not to mention the quarter million dollar sale of the business as our exit.

Why did we decide to sell the business? We sold it because of several difficulties I referred to, which were mostly a result of growing faster than we could keep up. Yes, growing too fast is not always good, especially when unplanned for.

Most importantly however, we had an unsolicited buyer, and because of this we made the timing right in our minds to wash our hands off it. It was an unplanned, but profitable exit strategy for us. I am still asked today why I sold such a unique concept, and I still claim that any time is a good time when it just makes sense.

As hard as it was initially, I try not to dwell too much on the past, or think of the “should have”, “could have” and “what if”. I do however conduct a post mortem and ensure I learn as much as possible from endeavors I get rid of, especially the failures. The way I see it, life is too long and there will be many more opportunities to mess around with another idea.

Where did I get the money to start this venture? Same as above. Establishing this website cost me less than $2,000 and a ton of man hours, headaches and heart burns to go with it. I plan on discussing this project in detail from end-to-end in my next blog post.

Niche Content Websites

On to my favorite endeavor of all and one that is currently my bread and butter. When I was looking to start a side gig that could be worked on remotely from anywhere, I was exposed to a program that preached creating a content website around a topic I am passionate about.

Because I was busy with other initiatives but still wanted to test this opportunity out, I somehow enticed my wife to get into it. Little did she know what she was very reluctantly getting into.

I handled everything from a technical perspective of course (website, SEO and marketing) while she focused on web content. We worked at it for over 11 months and saw not a penny in profits.

But just a bit over 24 months today, the website is running very well on auto pilot generating several thousand dollars, and the trajectory still points upward as it is nowhere near its full potential.

Seeing the success of this venture, I established several other niche content websites in other disciplines. I can’t say that I was motivated by the topics, but I was sure motivated by the process.

There are two kinds of people, ones that are interested in the product offering and others who are interested and motivated by the process. I have been in both shoes, and either has worked well for me.

I kept replicating the model, often with help from freelancers, until I had established a healthy portfolio of websites generating income on auto pilot month after month. The next step was to team up with other entrepreneurs to build more niche websites.

This allowed me the opportunity to coach and develop others who were interested in the concept and process but simply didn’t possess the “know how”. I contributed from a technical aspect while they focused on content much like my wife.

The irony behind this is that I am no techie at all. But the tools I use and the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years definitely makes me a perceived expert.

Where did I get the money to establish a bunch of niche websites from? Again, same as above. But that said, one niche content website costs me under $100 to establish, providing I create it myself from scratch to finish. You can hire freelancers and VAs to help you out like I do if you have some disposable cash to invest.

I discuss niche content websites heavily on my blog, and plan on continuing to talk about it in depth going forward, dissecting the various components involved in it and some step-by-step procedures on how to execute each.

Consulting

I don’t really know when I first became a consultant. It was all unplanned. Throughout the years, folks I know and around me have come to know about the various ventures I’ve been involved in.

Due to curiosity and other reasons, I am asked all kinds of things in day–to-day interaction. In fact, it is because of this that I started my blog (discussed below). But long story short, I have ended up consulting several individuals, and more recently even small businesses on various internet entrepreneurship matters.

My most recent gig was for a small, less than $10M company based out of the West Coast of the USA. I was brought in to consult on SEO and E-Commerce re-engineering, whatever that means. Look at the irony in the oxymoron of a non-techie IT consultant. The world has really gone mad.

I hardly take any consulting gigs now because my effective hourly wage rate is much more that what most people can afford to pay me. In other words, I am better of spending an hour of my time on my business, rather than working for a dollar figure. My blog is the best avenue I have for making the most mass impact with my knowledge and experience without sacrificing all my time.

I don’t consider consulting anywhere near my core income producing activities. I consider it trading hours for dollars, just like a job, although this one involving large dollars.

I have not solicited one client to date and don’t plan on it either. That said, I do have a section on my blog discussing the consulting services I offer. I end up referring most of it out to my personal network. If there is something worthwhile that comes across my desk, I will definitely consider it.

Where did I get the money to start this gig? Nowhere. I didn’t need any. But without all of the preceding ventures above, consulting would not have been possible. When it rains, it pours. That is not only a theoretical saying. It is a practical truth that I have seen manifest repeatedly in my lifetime.

The Extra Money Blog

So finally after much nagging (external causes) and dragging (internal causes), in late July 2010 I launched my Capstone Project, The Extra Money Blog.

WordPress was (and still is) completely new to me, and boy am I challenged with so much! For a blog that looks as simple as mine, I have already spent a ton of hours on the design. Yes you can laugh.

Although this latest endeavor is the newest to me, I am dedicated to giving it my all. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t be spending hours writing this post and polishing it up for Yaro on a beautiful weekend.

I mean why would I care otherwise? I hope to continue to learn the ropes from a technical perspective, and am looking forward to all your tips and suggestions, and definitely technical intervention.

After establishing the blog a bit and after I am comfortable with the basics of WordPress, I do plan on outsourcing a complete makeover to someone who actually knows what they are doing.

Where did I get the money to start this project? It doesn’t matter where. I spent $80 bucks and bought myself the Thesis WordPress Theme and started slaving away at it.

Overall take away: Starting a side gig doesn’t have to cost you your arm. Figure out what is it that you want to do and Just Do It! (Copyright & Trademark: Nike, Inc.) Where there is a will, there is a way. You will find a way to find the dollars, but you must first overcome the inertia to get started.

Why Did I Pursue Entrepreneurship on the Side?

Now for the burning question of the moment . . . Drum-Roll . . . Why?

What was I thinking while sitting on that cushy leather recliner looking out to the river from my 48th floor downtown office window? Quite a bit actually, none of which was about my career and my company. I was thinking about Abundance, Freedom and Flexibility. I was thinking about lifestyle design and engineering (Thanks T Ferriss).

Was I not happy with my career? Of course I was. In fact I was very happy. But what’s the fun in complacency? Why not diversify beyond my current realm of possibilities? We all know anything can happen at any time. There is just too much uncertainty surrounding us. Why not hedge against it? What about taking matters and control into my own hands? What about dedication to a greater cause? What about X, Y and Z?

There must have been a million and two reasons that had crossed my mind, but I want to focus on just a handful of reasons here to get my point across. The reasons revolve around financial abundance, freedom and flexibility, the three key concepts around which my blog is based.

It is a fact that many people do not enjoy what they do for a living. It is also a fact that out of those many, most hate their jobs. It is a fact that retirement is something many look forward to. It is also a fact that many wished they could retire early, or enjoy a better retirement lifestyle when they get there.

As of late, the concepts of semi-retirements or lifestyle design have also emerged. Human beings are naturally lazy, and people long for easier day-to-day jobs or careers rather than toiling their life away, whether as unhealthy, round-shaped, bald and unhappy I-bankers or lawyers who self console themselves as being happy and satisfied in life. What life they talk about I wonder sometimes?

There are also those that want to “live like no other, so they can give like no other”. The motivations are countless, as are the options. Taking care of family members in need, to be there for friends, to not miss a birthday party or event whether night or day, weekday or weekend.

To be able to do all that requires financial abundance, with the appropriate balance of freedom and flexibility. That is precisely what “side gigging” has allowed me and many others to do, particularly side gigs that are based on the internet platform as they are as mobile and flexible as they come.

When you have alternate sources of income, you have a solid safety blanket that comes with more peace of mind, less financial stress and as a result you perform better in all other aspects of your life. You can position yourself to walk away from your job at any time, or say no to a demanding one that you don’t want to undertake.

The key message here is that you have options. You have a level of freedom and flexibility to live the kind of life you want, or one that is a bit closer to your ideal lifestyle rather than one that is predetermined for you by whosoever writes your bi-weekly paycheck.

I know a gal who because of having established passive side incomes streams has walked away from high paying but high stress career to settle into a 30 hour a week career paying $65,000 plus healthcare benefits, and spend the rest of her time on her fitness, teaching Yoga at night and spending more time with the family.

I know a guy who doesn’t think twice before taking a month or two off from his job without pay to take extended vacations or stay-cations with his family because he has financial abundance thanks to his side gigs. The lost salary simply doesn’t matter enough anymore at that point. Now of course you need an employer who can put up with that, but you get the point.

I know a full-time internet based freelancer who works when convenient for him, and has been able to fit his business plan around his life plan, something everyone should, but don’t or can’t do for various reasons. He has a very flexible and mobile lifestyle because he can work from anywhere he wants. All he needs is his laptop and internet connection. Did it happen overnight for him? No. He side gigged for a while to build his client base before firing his employer, or prison I should say.

I know an older couple who have established enough income producing assets such as small businesses, real estate and a huge dividend portfolio thanks to several successful side gigs over the years to feed the next four generations of their lineage.

Business And Travel

With the advancement in technology today, the automated tools we have at our disposal and gobs of free information available online at our finger tips, starting a business today is easier than it has ever been in the past.

This is particularly true for an internet based business model, which is great for those who are more risk averse. It is also the best business model to pursue on the side in my opinion for those who travel for a living.

An internet-based business can be mobile, flexible and automated, not to mention have a very attractive risk/reward ratio. The cost to get started is very minimal, with tremendous upside and scale-ability. All you have to lose is your time and effort. But even if you do, trust me, you will end up with invaluable lifelong lessons that will make your investment well worth it.

In fact my personal journey on the internet started because I was traveling heavily in my career. There was very little predictability in my life in terms of where I was going to be on a given day and time.

Because of this, it became very difficult to pursue real estate and small business investing further. I missed out on several bargains because I was not in town to make the offer at the right time, or miss an inspection appointment, or one of several reasons that required my physical presence.

Thanks to the internet and the technological advancements today, I was able to find a niche I succeeded in. I feel blessed, and extremely fortunate to be living in a time where I am able to leverage what’s available to benefit me in the way I want it to.

And finally after having taken you through several narrow alleys around the world and giving you a hundred and one different reasons, I am tempted to say that this is un- precisely why a successful corporate professional making a healthy six figure salary resorted to the internet.

If Yaro lets me come back, in my next post I want to present a case study of my e-commerce website, from idea or concept stages, to research, creation, establishment, growth, all the way to the exit – the quarter million dollar sale of the business. I will also discuss post mortem results by sharing lessons learned from the venture.

I look forward to interacting with everyone and engaging in mutually beneficial knowledge sharing.

Sunil
Getting Started

P.S. If you didn’t know, Yaro (with a subtle nasal accent toward the end) means “Friends” in Hindi (Indian National Language).

About Sunil

Sunil is the author of the Extra Money Blog, a platform that discusses expedited wealth building through multiple streams of active and passive income where you can download his FREE report on How to Establish a $1,000 a Month Passive Income Stream in Your Spare Time in Less Than 180 Days. He was a CPA in his previous life and has also authored the CPA Requirements portal which guides CPA candidates in passing the CPA exam and expediting their career success.

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120 Comments

  • Very interesting post. It reminds me of the saying, “The heart has its own reasons which reason knows nothing of”. I really appreciate the time and effort taken to come up with such a long and detailed post.

    • Most welcome Jimmy – your quote is very encouraging

  • Love this article from Sunil. I started my blog just after I gave birth to my first child. Even though I still worked on some consulting project, I still kept posting to my blog weekly. I can’t wait to start creating some residual income in my business, that’s my main goal. Having a blog has exposed me to a lot of people and I’ve been know has a local celebrity her in Luxembourg.

    Because I have 2 children, I had to hire a VA to help with managing a lot of administrative things in my business.

    I have to say Sunil is such a kick butt marketer and action taker. I love his approach to life. He is such an inspiration. I can’t wait to read his next article.

    Nowadays there is nothing like job security. One needs to have a side kick to fall on when things fall over.

    • Joyce,

      You bring up an excellent point in your comment:

      “Nowadays there is nothing like job security. One needs to have a side kick to fall on when things fall over.”

      I wished more people realized that. That is exactly the message I stand for and blog about. I am with you 100%

  • Great read Sunil! You have certainly explored plenty of career avenues in your life huh? I had no idea that you pursued so many other things outside of your main site “The Extra Money Blog”.

    I am currently working on a website of my own. I have been at it for about 5 months now and still feel like I know nothing. I am still plugging away at writing good content – I have written over 100 articles now – it gets tough, but I’m glad that I read your story. It’s very inspiring and should keep me going for a while.

    I figure I should at least put a year’s worth of work into my site before I get too critical on the monetary results. Thanks again Sunil!

    • Great to see you here my friend and thank you for the support. Removing the thought of profits for the first 12 months is the best approach. You will soon find that your constant investment in education will pay off as things (from a technical aspect – SEO, marketing , etc) will start to become second nature. Once that is behind you, it’s just a matter of execution, which you are already at it strong. Your effort is the only factor that you can control. So focus on excellence, and success will follow. That is one of the best advices I have ever received.

  • Nowadays internet is most effective way to get things done quick and easy. Internet saves energy, time, and money. Internet has given us a lot of opportunities to make life comfortable. If you need any information you just go online to get it. When it comes to marketing it’s the best. When it comes to job it’s the easiest… Thanks.

  • Yes. I have visited your blog, Sunil. nice.
    in the future, I hope you are more familiar with wordpress .. :)
    I drew the conclusion from your article, that the freedom and flexibility, in the end that’s who want to target all types of professions. you’ve found it on the internet, I hope I can soon join you ..
    success ..

  • I would have left my job to because in corporate America you are limited to your earning potential and your time freedom. Even if you are making six figures at your job, the amount of time that you have to do things that you want to do will be limited in most cases.

    • Donny – good point, one which I have not mentioned. In corp America, you often will hit a ceiling. Also as you said, at some point, the investment of time vs reward equation doesn’t make sense anymore, leaving you with much to desire, and not nearly enough time to do the things you enjoy doing

  • I can totally relate to your stock market experience. I started trading during my university days, made some money, got carried away and lost everything. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized how little i knew back then, and even now.

    These days I’m a full-time stock trader and I’m glad I had an inexpensive (relatively) lesson to learn from back then.

    Cheers

    • Sounds like a great deal to me. Would love to learn more about the markets from you. Though I have done well, my approach is rather simplistic and basic . . . but I am happy overall :)

  • Sunil, your story is so inspiring to me. I would love to be able to go out there on my own, and perhaps someday I will. Stories like yours show me that hard work can and does pay off.

    • Oh yes it does! All the best to you. What are some of the things you are working on?

  • Way to go Sunil!!!!!

    Okay, I think you sold your unique website business because of the lesson you learned in college with the stocks. You could have sold that $40,000 in stocks and walked away with a huge chunk, but you kept in the game and lost it all. I think you were smart to cash in and get a quarter of a million for your unique website when you did (just my humble opinion:)).

    • Amanda,

      Good to hear from you – and your opinion is very well taken, thank you.

      There were several reasons for the sale, one of them was technical challenges. I am technically illiterate!!!! The other was growth that was too fast for just the two of us to handle . . . I thought better a bird in hand than all kinds in the bush, skies and wherever else they hide

  • “If Yaro lets me come back”

    I hope not, talk about Smug, money, smug and money some more. Yaro blog has a great feel (even if it is about making money; this is just smug, and what I do not want to read here.

    • Dean,

      I would be grateful for more specific feedback to help me improve my content, message delivery and hopefully value to both Yaro’s and my readership. Please take some time to follow up

  • Wow Sunil that was a really great intro article! I had no idea you have already taken so many different avenues at earning passive incomes. Of everything that you have done, what would you say has been your favorite way of living a non-traditional lifestyle? Which was the most lucrative?

    Also noticed that you talked about the 4HWW and its principles some. So how has your life changed now that you are no longer working a corporate job?

    Once again great article, I look forward to hearing about the ecommerce business that you had!

    • Daniel,

      Because of several factors, I prefer the niche content website model. It allows me to diversify, it has a very high risk/return ratio and can be started with very little to begin with. I am comfortable with the process, and the model is fully replicable.

      How does it feel to be living the alternative lifestyle? Right now I have a corporate “job” or a “career”. I took this opportunity up this past August. It is a very specialized role and one created just for me. The terms are extremely flexible, and the salary very lucrative. More importantly, it is what I wanted to do. I was solicited for this opportunity.

      That said, I was not working before that. I loved the freedom and flexibility, which I still have today. Being happy and comfortable doing what you are doing is key to me, providing that you are not sacrificing anything else away (i.e. going to the gym early morning, spending evenings with the family, frequent long weekend trips etc)

      Did I answer your questions? If not please ask / clarify…

  • If my opinion means anything to Yaro (and it shouldn’t lol) I’d love to hear more about some specifics of each and every category. The real estate empire, the e-commerce site, the niche blogs…everything

    • Evan – it’s coming. As a new blogger, I really haven’t defined the direction of the blog as yet. The approach is shot gun in nature, but I see a hybrid theme developing. Next batter up is a walk through of the ecommerce website I started, grew and sold in 2007. Stay tuned…

      But – what topic would you like to hear more about the most, and specifically what aspects within that topic?

      • I don’t really understand the start to finish process of a niche site…I’d love to hear about that

        • Evan – You got it! It is somewhat outlined in my free report, but I will get into more depth step by step shortly on the blog. I suspected this was the topic most in demand as I’ve heard through the blog, email and private tweets. Thanks for your input.

  • Wow! Great read Sunil. Very inspirational and timely for me as I have just recently entered the online and sidegig world. With a family to support I may have to enter back into the corporate world but I now am addicted to the multiple streams of income possibilities and processes that go along with establishing them. Again, so relevant and thanks!

    • Allen,

      The best part is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be both, at least for now. Run it in parallel and see where it takes you? I am not an advocate of quiting your full time job and taking the dive immediately. But, how has your experience been? What can you tell us/ share with us?

      • Well Sunil, I actually worked on a start-up situation with a partner for about a year while still in my job and then was able to go FT with it in Sept. of 09. After a solid year it simply isn’t bringing the consistent revenue for both (partner and I) of us to continue on FT. It has been a great exerience overall and I have learned so much over the last year.
        The biggest mistake I made was putting all focus into the one business and not working to diversify and implement things I was learning into other areas on my own. I’ve been back actively looking to go back to the corporate world since Nov. but during that time I’ve started 2 blogs, working currently on branding a product to take to market(chapters 9-11 of 4-hour work week are awesome), and am also looking at taking on another home based business as well. So overall, regardless of going back to a job to make sure the family is comfortable for the time being, I truly have the entrepreneurial spirit and will now always have these other muses whether they be for incremental income, hobbies, or one of them explodes into “the one”. Thanks for asking and I will definitely be following your work.

        • Allen,

          You have definitely caught the BUG! Welcome to the gang. Let me know how I can be of help.

  • Great story Mr. Sunil. I am from Bangladesh. This story will help me to work more and be focused all the time. Thanks yaro for let him share his wonderful inspiring story

    • nomaashkaar Sujan . . . and all the best to you

  • Sunil, this was a great article! Definitely very inspiring, and you just gave me a lot more confidence that I can reach my goals!

    • Khaleef

      We all give each other inspiration and encouragement. Unlike most “professions” I have experienced where folks are willing to cut throats of others to climb up the ladder, entrepreneurship (specifically online entrepreneurship) is one such field where I have seen exactly the opposite. There is so much contagious positive energy it’s great for all of us.

      Good to see you here buddy

  • Nice Article Sunil,

    I finally followed through and (just) launched my website. I now spend less time on details (design etcetera) and just get my stuff out there.
    Hope that this launch will also be my successfull gig on the side

    Namaste!

    • Namaste Dost,

      Great advice from you. Many people are ready aim ready aim types. You actually fired. Congratulations and all the best.

  • Wow – what a great read that was well worth it. I like how you broke your entire path down, from day trading to jumping into real estate to e-commerce and to IM.

    I can easily say that the main reason why I specifically chase the internet lifestyle is simply due to the freedom that it allows. And I, one day, hope to build enough websites as you have done that can run on complete auto-pilot while I venture out and travel the world! I’ll get there eventually :)

    Thanks for the inspiring post! Good luck with the new blog, too. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on it.

    • Bryan,

      Thanks for a warm message. You are right, internet business gives us the opportunity to live a more mobile life on the go (i.e. travel across the world and still earn a living). All the best to you on your quest and certainly be in touch. Discussing niche websites and how to get them from ground zero to a respectable height is on my agenda for deep discussion. I also plan on sharing some case studies on my blog on how I do it step by step.

  • I like your article Sunil, way to go.

    We are always newcomers at the certain time in our lives.

    Good to learn from your past experience.

    Cheers,
    Togrul

    • Togrul,

      Very well said. We are all at different levels in various aspects of our lives. The key take away is that we can all learn from each other. The beauty of our world isn’t it?

  • Very Interesting! I started my personal financial blog in August , 2010. Although I went in to blogging for other reasons, I look forward to the time when it supplements my income.

  • Great post, Sunil. :)

    In the end, it’s not all about the money, but the freedom is a great bonus to becoming an entrepreneur. :)

    • Allen,

      You are absolutely correct. Freedom and flexibility are what many starve for. After a certain point in one’s successful “career”, money no longer becomes as much of a factor. It is the lifestyle (good life) that we crave for.

  • Great Bio Sunil!

    • Good to see you – I can see you from miles away. That orange and white logo is just so different – it is definitely accomplishing its objective ;)

  • This is a fascinating and completely inspirational post! Thanks so much! I really dig how you’ve risen time and again from defeat only to win.

  • Sunil your story is very interesting and motivational too. I am eagerly waiting for your next post where you would revel more story behind your success that came from ecommerce site. All the very best

    • Sujit,

      I am also looking forward to recollecting those golden memories and putting it in some logical sequence to hopefully 1) make sense and 2) provide some value

  • This is awesome, can’t wait to learn more from you, Sunil!

    “All you have to lose is your time and effort. But even if you do, trust me, you will end up with invaluable lifelong lessons that will make your investment well worth it.”

    Couldn’t have said it better. And I think I know what it’s like to working on something for a year without actually making profit, but to see the thing grow and get more and more attention so that the monetization will be pretty sure in the long run. (If you’ve done some research on the niche before, of course)

    The great thing about the internet is – as you’ve said – that you can really really develop something and let it grow in your sparetime. This way, you can build so much value without having to risk anything at all.

    Awaiting your next post, Sunil

    Tim

  • Sunil,

    Interesting story of your journey. You bring about some great points and also give ideas for others to follow.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Karen

    • Thank you Karen,

      These points are merely a compilation of lessons learned for me. I hope to learn from lessons others have experienced, and hope to share mine in exchange.

  • I would love to hear about those “other reasons”. I am sure you got the readership quite curious now. If you don’t mind – please share? At the least, shoot me an email. I am always interested in lifestyle decisions

  • Lee,

    I appreciate the kind thoughts. Having that safety net was key for me, and allowed me to experiment consistently. Had I not had that, I may not have been able to accomplish what I have. There is a breed of entrepreneurs like me, then there are those like Yaro that take the dive head on with no safety net. Both have their pros and cons, and as far as I can tell, both approaches have worked for each of us in our own ways.

  • Well said Tim, well said

    Another thing about the Internet is that it is extremely forgiving. You can mess up, again, and then again and still do very well.

    Lovely thoughts, you are right on my friend

  • Inspirational post Sunil, it’s effective way to increase website business. There is several useful tips for to be follow in Internet entrepreneurship. Thanks for sharing quality content.

    • You are welcome Jennie – good to see you here

  • Good stuff Sunil. The key lesson seems to be: Anybody can make a good living if they put the effort and their mind to it!

    Cheers, Sam

    • Right on Sam – Execution is where 80% (in theory) fall short

      Good to see you here

  • Sunil

    Friends,

    Excellent thoughts and questions. I had responded to each one but am awaiting Yaro’s approval of those responses.

    I suspect it is because I had pre-populated the email and website URL fields on each response and the system may have flagged it as spam.

    Thank you for everyone kind words – I look forward to interacting

  • Friends,

    Excellent thoughts and questions. I had responded to each one but am awaiting Yaro’s approval of those responses.

    I suspect it is because I had pre-populated the email and website URL fields on each response and the system may have flagged it as spam.

    Thank you for everyone’s kind words – I look forward to interacting

  • Chris Edington

    I always love coming across posts like this, I have started a couple of my own online ventures and am so happy with my decision!

    • Chris,

      Mind sharing those and what your experience has been like? Would love to hear about them…

  • Get Green

    And before I forget, a lot of people fail before they even start because they don’t put something out there and see if it works out!

    • Excellent point – that’s why I love Nike (JUST DO IT!)

  • Ian

    This is a comprehensive and an excellent post Sunil. I graduated from OSU so I can’t say “Go Blue”. But I loved reading every bit of this post and about your background.

    Couple questions:

    1) Are you still investing in real estate? I see you have done well with websites. I am wondering what is your preference in today’s economy.

    2) I too invest in real estate when I am not working. I want to hear more about your thoughts on your investing style. Do you mainly flip homes? rent them out? invest in apartment buildings?

    Very solid post – I am hoping to read a lot more from you, particularly on your experience with websites, seo and organic success. Looking forward to your next post.

    This was a solid one.

    Ian

    • Haha – nothing but love here for the BuckEyes, except on fall Football Saturdays.

      I will address your questions:

      1) Are you still investing in real estate? I see you have done well with websites. I am wondering what is your preference in today’s economy.

      Answer: I have held off on buying more despite the favorable times. If I wasn’t making money online, my focus would def be real estate. There is no better time to invest in real estate, at least in the USA.

      2) I too invest in real estate when I am not working. I want to hear more about your thoughts on your investing style. Do you mainly flip homes? rent them out? invest in apartment buildings?

      Answer: Yes I have flipped, but not into rehabs. I don’t like to deal with the hassle, nor do I have the expertise to check foundation issues and plumbing concerns. I search for significantly undervalued properties, buy them and rent them out. I consider this value investing rather than speculative, where investors rely on the appreciation. Appreciation to me is merely icing on the cake. If I can make money the minute I buy it, then I really don’t care about whether the underlying asset increases or decreases in value.

      I have written extensively about this on my blog – you might be interested.

      All the best and thank you for the thoughts

  • Great story, I learned more about you than I have even from reading your site. Your successes are inspirational to all of us that are trying to develop side jobs!

    I especially like the ideas you come up with, it seems that some of your ideas reflects mine too.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you MR, and very good to see you here. I am with you, in exactly the same boat. That is why I am trying blogging for the first time – this is a brand new platform for me.

      Resonating with another’s thoughts is important. This is one of the factors that determines who I choose to follow online (of the million options available).

      Thank you for your thoughts

  • I’m a serial entrepreneur having started my first business half of my life ago (16). I visit Sunil’s site often and highly recommend everyone downloading his free eBook on how he makes money online. It’s the real deal and not fluff.

    I hope to have my own profile featured here one day.

    • Wow Sandy – I appreciate your endorsement. Reinforcement from colleagues is by far one of the most encouraging aspects in doing what I do. Thank YOU very much.

      I would be interested in your feedback on the free report. What is missing? How can it be enhanced? What questions does it leave you with? Can there be a sequel?

  • Wow this such a great article and the tips are very comprehensive. For sure many entrepreneurs with small and big businesses are going to benefit from this. Keep it up!

    • MyATM – that is exactly the intention. Which topic(s) are of most interest to you? I intend on writing regularly, and want to know which ones are of most interest to the readership?

  • Inspiring posting Sunil, i like your style ;) great to see its getting so much of a response aswell!

  • Inspiring story Sunil, I’m glad you stay faithful to the process. Most people know the fact but they are too lazy to take the bold step. Thanks bro. Rock on :)

    • Yes Samuel,

      Everyone is a millionaire in their minds aren’t they? You spoke about a practical truth that we see all the time

  • I love reading how others approach different business opportunnities like this. Thanks for the great post.

    • Nick,

      We sure can learn from varying approaches. What opportunities/avenues would you like to hear more about?

  • Sunil,

    You have a fantastic list of achievements there. I think even with all the failures you’ve gone through, it teaches you even more than your successes. I must say that you have a knack for trying all sorts of things. Really admire the passion you have to continue learning and diversifying your income.

    • Thank you Bryan,

      “The quest for excellence is a lifelong process”

      One of my favorite quotes of all time. Keep learning and applying my friend

  • Very interesting story. I think experience teaches you more than books. That is why sometimes you don’t need a proper education to run a business.

    • Uzi Nutt – I agree with you that practical experience teaches you more than any book, theory or discussion can. That said, I am a big advocate of education, and there is no end to learning as long as one is living.

      With education, one can prepare the self for what’s to come ahead and avoid many unnecessary and expensive mistakes.

      By education, I don’t necessarily mean spending $100k+ for a 4 year degree from a top 10 school (although there is great value to this). One can learn and acquire education in various different ways, some for free and some at widely varying costs.

      I like the premise of your comment – which is that WE HAVE OPTIONS! And options are good to have in life :)

      • Hi Sunil this is really interesting post! thank you so much for your guide and your article! yes I’m agree with you, as long as we’re live there is no end to learn something new.

  • [...] Why Leave A Six Figure Corporate Job For Internet Entrepreneurship? [...]

  • [...] Why Leave A Six Figure Corporate Job For Internet Entrepreneurship … [...]

  • Hey Sunil,

    Awesome article. Glad I heard about your guest post and got to learn more about your experiences. I look forward to more posts here or on your own blog. Keep up your inspirational work! :) Have you considered writing eBooks?

    • Thank you Buck, and I do intend to write and interact more in the near future.

      Yes, I have several ebooks. I believe this is one of the truest forms of passive income. I currently have 12 ebooks registered with ClickBank, as well as 2 others which are not. These 2 are free ebooks.

      One is available on my blog for free download. It is a step by step process on creating a 1k residual monthly income stream in less than 180 days, all in your spare time. The other has just been completed and releasing soon also on my blog.

  • Excellent post, Sunil. It’s really fascinating, and more importantly, encouraging, for a lot of us to read posts like this because it gives us some hope and even confidence about our own ventures.

    • Of course I agree – when I was relatively new, I also looked up to those who had been there and done that. That is the best way, in my opinion, to succeed. Why recreate the wheel?

  • Bloody Hell- that is one inspiraing, motivational and kick-ass blog post I’ve read so far into 2011. Well done Sunil on your achievements – you certainly earned every penny of it…. I will check out your Blog and see what I can learn from your own experience.

    • Revitol,

      Welcome, thank you, and would be glad to help where I can

  • Excellent post Sunil; I read the whole thing word for word! It sounds like you have made a fortunate through your various side investments, businesses, consulting, and internet ventures.

    The only question left in my mind is why you are still avidly going after all these new businesses when you have already had so much success and many well-diversified revenue streams. Do you really need the extra money? Is the extra time you put into worth it?

    More importantly, if you have all this money coming in why are you slogging away building a website from scratch as cheaply as possible without any outside help? Surely you can afford to do it differently.

    Do you always just like to do things the hard way for the learning experience?

    • Saving Mentor,

      We all have different extents of our aspirations, certain goals and objectives that we have set for ourselves. With God’s grace, I have what I need to live the life I want and give back. Do I need more? No. Do I want more? You bet.

      The time I put in is well worth it, and so is everything else worthwhile having in life. I wouldn’t say I am slogging away. When you do something for so long, you are bound to identify efficiencies, and automation.

      I am not a fan at all of doing things the hard way, but to find the easier way, everyone needs to put in their due time, as have I :)

  • Cerpen,

    I am relatively new to Blogging and learning a lot about WP. As you can see, my blog is rather simple. Someday it will look more like a million dollar blog – or not ;)

  • Emerson

    Sunil this is one of the best posts i have ever read on entrepreneurship. i visited your blog and it is filled with great stuff. i am looking forward to more solid stuff from you especially where you can help new entrepreneurs like me succeed online. i would like more information on how you have been able to make your website succeed so much

    • Emerson – thank you. I do plan on covering niche content websites, SEO, internet marketing in detail, mainly what has worked for me over the years, on my blog. My free report talks quite a bit about starting a content website and succeeding with it. This has (not surprisingly) been the most demanded topic. Stay tuned and thank you for your feedback.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience. The knowledge that there is no limit to the amount of money you can make is what drives me.

    • That is very true – and it is all under your control, unlike most jobs which come with a niche ceiling

  • Sunil,
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • From your article, I learn many things. Thanks!

  • [...] also really liked this guest post on Entrepreneurs Journey by Sunil called Why Leave A Six Figure Corporate Job For Internet Entrepreneurship?. It dives into Lifestyle design and working on side projects while you work full time. He focuses [...]

  • Great concept. Another informative post. This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to several more times this year!

  • I simply want to say I’m new to blogging and site-building and really liked this web-site. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your website . You certainly have incredible articles. Appreciate it for sharing with us your web page.

    • Hi Corie,

      Glad you enjoyed the article. I am a guest blogger on Yaro’s blog. Would love to see you at the Extra Money Blog as well.

  • Excellent Post Sunil. Thanks for sharing your Experiences with us. You have collected good points.

  • Sunil,

    I can definitely relate to your story. Timothy Ferriss and the Four Hour Work Week has been a huge inspiration for me to become an internet entrepreneur. Great article.

    • I am a fan of TFerris. He is the MAN. Now he does get too overboard, dramatic and unrealistic at times, but I think it is an effect of his passion (the cause). I didn’t realize this until I started getting carried away into la la land in some of my writing. Do point it out when you notice it so I can catch it – will certainly appreciate it.

  • “Work Smart, Not Hard!”
    This has been my motto throughout. You definitely seem to have done both, and somehow had the wisdom to know when to do which.

    I am a 22 year old Economics graduate, and am now branching into Design. I sincerely hope I can achieve at least half of what you have, Sunil.

    Look forward to hearing more from you, and keep at it!

    • Right on indeed . . . we all mistakes, and I have made my fair share. The more you immerse yourself in entrepreneurship, or anything in life for that matter, the more accurate your gut instinct starts to become over time. Knowing what to do and when is a function of years of hard work, effort and dedication. I have certainly paid my price for it.

  • Inspiring story Sunil. I think you should always do what is the best for you. I personally prefer online activities and I think an online entrepreneur would be a more suited job for me! It depends on everyone.

    • The ROI just makes sense! There is very little at risk outside your time and effort (which is invaluable of course)

  • [...] The article also discusses the genesis of this blog, why I pursued entrepreneurship despite being in a comfortable corporate career that came with a high six figure salary and excellent benefits.  You can read my article here. [...]

  • I am all about creating a better lifestyle and living life to the fullest now, instead of later in life. I applaud your hard work and making the jump from a high paying job to being an Internet entrepreneur. I think so many people are too afraid to part from their job because of the so called “security.”

    - Andrew

  • Wow, Sunil. Sounds very familiar. A few years back my parents also lost everything that they worked so long and hard for.

    They had started a restaurant chain in New Zealand… and after several years, they had about 10 chains all over the country. Unfortunately, the prices of rent in malls soared for no real good reason.

    The previous “profits” were now just breaking even – and it wasn’t long before we were in the red. As well as that, the other chains also experienced the same thing. All red-lined.

    Due to some clause in a contract, the new franchisee’s lease’s were transferred back to my parents – it resulted in having to declare bankruptcy. almost a million dollars in debt.

    They are back on track now in a totally different industry, but it started a whole new life for my entire family. Thanks for sharing your story.

    - Dean

  • Very interesting details you have noted, appreciate it for putting it up.

  • Nice post ! Thank you for share !

  • Its fantastic as your other blog posts : D, appreciate it for posting .

  • Inspiring one Sunil.
    It’s motivating to achieve what you’ve achieve, in various different industries from Blogging, Niche Websites, Real Estate, Business and many more.

    I’m still fresh in these, yet I would want to achieve huge success in these area too, currently interesting in building my portfolio/business through websites, real estate and stock too. Cheers and all the best to you Sunil. :D

  • Vivien

    I love Sunil and his work. I spend hours on his blog going from one interesting article to another. That said I am having a problem with this: “My name is Sunil”. That’s what you read everywhere. Why he never discloses his full name?

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