Dumb Enough To Keep Going: A 35,000 ft Success Story

Here I am, aboard a first class flight from Seoul to Atlanta in route to home.

Home, to whom I’ve been a stranger for 7 months.

Home, where my friends and family reside, where you don’t leave the security of a well paying job, benefits, a future.

Home……KoreanAir

I was once told by a close friend and mentor that the only reason he succeeded in his trading career was because he was dumb enough to keep going. This resonated with me and to this day I’ve kept that thought in the back of my head. I didn’t know it at the time but this is in a way me and how I do things.

When Brittany and I left the security of her job (I’m unemployable) in August of 2013, there was a lot of doubt. Ironically enough, the biggest doubters are those who you would think to be your biggest supporters. This was the case for us, and probably is for many. Maybe this is just a protection mechanism, but I’m fairly certain it came across as resentful. Amongst many other things, the one question I got over and over and over was “what’s your plan, what are you going to do in Thailand?” For once in my life I didn’t have the answer, and it scared the living shit out of me, yet it made me feel alive. We were really going to do it, move to a foreign land where we don’t speak the lingo without a clue as to how we were going to make it work. Couple this with relentless questioning from friends and family if we were really making a wise choice, (“you know, Brittany just got a promotion, good benefits, etc”) it really gets you questioning yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, at the time of leaving I was haphazardly trading currency with a method that was rapidly becoming obsolete. No one to this day knows that, but it is in fact the truth. I was able to squeak out a few dollars a month, which was something, but I knew it was far from sustainable. I did not want to give up trading. Trading sounds sexy. Everyone wants to know a hot shot trader who can travel the world on his profits. Me too!

As cool as it sounds, and as well as I made it work for years, the truth is, this came to a screeching halt several times over the course of my trading career. By halt I mean brokers refusing to return my profits, let alone initial investment. This brings me back to the point of leaving: the writing was on the wall, my strategy of trading was dying. I knew this, but nobody else. Why? Partly because I couldn’t admit defeat and mostly because I was deathly afraid of what was next. Yet, I knew I was ready to embark on the journey.  I was almost positive I was incapable of a real job. I don’t do well caged up in corporate America. I need to think, I need to experiment, I need to try for myself. Maybe I would be wrong, and it would not be the first time, and in the worst case scenario I can make all the doubters happily say “I told you so”. But those four words and a much deeper meaning is my fuel. Its what gives me life. I hate to lose and I hate to not keep going.

With a rapidly ending trading career approaching you can imagine the panic.

When we first arrived in Thailand in 2013 we really hadn’t a clue as to what we were going to do. I really thought that I could keep trading for at least a few more years. I guess I did stretch it out for almost another year, but at the same time we started to dabble with SEO and affiliate marketing. A very patient high school friend I had kept in touch with over the years turned me on to this strategy and took me and Brittany under his wing. Although most of the information in regards to SEO and affiliate marketing is freely available from various different websites it can be an abstract world, especially at first, or in our case 16 long months. For the better part of our first year in Thailand we focused on these projects. Sadly over the course of a year I think we made a grand total of $3,162. It was then in late 2013 and early 2014 I got tossed the reality check. My trading was over. Done. Income, albeit not large, shut off.

So here we are earning less than a penny an hour for our work on affiliate sites, trading now abruptly ended, and we’re living in Thailand where its not easy to get a good paying job unless you want to teach. As if this wasn’t bad enough, our travel blog and the two somewhat productive websites we built over the past 8 months were now de-indexed by Google. For those that don’t understand this, this is like being served the death penalty in Affiliate world. You’re done. We thought about it long and hard. At the end of the day, 1,000 USD a month from Brittany teaching would help to sustain us living abroad. However, after many conversations we decided neither of us wanted to teach. This isn’t why we left the U.S. So we either had to make something happen online or head back to the U.S.  We wanted desperately to build an online income, but couldn’t afford much longer to keep tossing out money for rent, food, and living when nothing else was coming in.

So do we toss in the towel, head home and be greeted by those I told you so’s?

Over my dead body. I was willing to keep going until I was completely out of money and begging mom and pops to fly us home before I return on my own accord. So then remained the real question, do we fulfill the definition of insanity and keep trying the same thing and expecting different results with our Affiliate career or do we try something new?

This wouldn’t be the success story you all were hoping for if there wasn’t a giant pot of gold at the end of the rainbow so here it comes…..

Foolishly enough, we kept going with what we were doing and hoping to obtain different results, profit. We did make a few tweaks and the “THE” in thetradingtravelers.com is now there for a reason. More on that later. So push on we did, for another 8 months of not making but a few pennies here and there putting in 6-7 days a week work. It was in November of 2014 when the change came. This is attributed to Black Friday and Christmas shopping. But it was a taste of what was really possible.

Fast forward to today of us sitting on a first class Korean air flight bound for home.

Although not millionaires we have successfully replaced Brittany’s income she had at her “good job” back home. And me, well I’ve made more this month than I’ve ever made in my life. Take a look for yourself.OnlineIncomeComparison

It was literally over night. Right before Christmas 2014 when we started making money, a full 16 months after we had started and not made but $3,100.

So here we sit, together, aboard a first class international flight, because she was too stupid to give up on me, the one without a real job.

IMG_3859

8 things I’ve learned in the pursuit of location independence…

  1. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one ever will, and you’ll likely cave in far too soon to make it. Especially if you got a lot of I told you so’ers in your life.
  2. If you think an online project will take you a year to turn a profit, expect it to take three.
  3. There is only two ways to grow a business. Invest in tools and invest in team. I was guilty of this and it cost me a year of my life because I was too stubborn to outsource tasks that could easily be handled by someone else.
  4. Don’t be afraid to spend money on a task you are unsure of if it will turn a profit. The old adage is very true. You gotta spend money to make money, I found this especially true in the beginning stages.
  5. Talk to everyone. You never know what you can learn from someone. Don’t be afraid to help others yourself. Even if you’re seemingly getting nothing out of it, someone will notice and will help you when you least expect it and likely most need it.
  6. Money isn’t everything. Knowledge is. The more you know or more you specialize in and can positively add to anyone’s life or team is worth far more in bargaining than a bankroll.
  7. Don’t chase shiny objects. If you bounce from one get rich scheme to the next, you’ll never get rich. Pick one thing, stick with it, and work your ass off.
  8. Start. The biggest challenge in life is getting started. Diet, online business, whatever it is. There is no better day to start than today. You’re not getting any younger and you can’t even begin to conquer your goals by reading and not acting.

Want in? Want more details? We finally feel confident enough to talk openly about what we have going on. Hell, this is my first post on The Trading Travelers in over a year because I wanted this so bad. Now that we’ve got this business somewhat under control, we will both be blogging more and more on the pursuit of Location Independence. We will also be publishing several case studies with a few student-friends we are taking on to see if we can show someone with zero SEO/Affiliate knowledge how to successfully make passive income. Stay up to date on all our latest posts by entering your email in the “subscribe” box on the righthand side of the page or in the orange bar at the top!

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  1. Hats off guys. Ye have proved things to yourselves and that’s the most important thing at the end of the day. Hard work, determination and a sprinkle of Charlie’s stubbornness were the key ingredients.

    Congrats on the success that ye’ve built up so far. Long may it continue. I’m raising a nice tall glass of Sheweppes to you both!

    • Charlie and Brittany June 4, 2015 at 12:43 pm · · Reply

      Bring me a Shweppes!

      Thanks Carlo, looking forward to following the progress of Project X. A little stubbornness goes a long way, that Italian ought to have ye covered in that category.

  2. Amazing sucess story guys!! We are 8 months in to it and still working away! We are glad to hear its still possible to be sucessful in a flooded maket!! Thanks!!

    • Charlie and Brittany June 4, 2015 at 12:39 pm · · Reply

      One Modern Couple,

      Awesome to hear! Keep pushing on. Are you all working on affiliate sites as well? Look forward to hearing your success story as well.

  3. Great post Charlie – I’m super happy for you guys and glad to see that hard work and determination does pay off if one just keeps plodding along. I’m excited to see where the next few months will take ye. Hope all is going well at home – we certainly miss you guys 🙂

    • Charlie and Brittany June 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm · · Reply

      Thanks Floooo,

      Im pretty pumped to see how you all get along with the new ventures. All is well at home, enjoying our time before we catch ye in Europe!

  4. Congrats! Can’t wait to hear about how you did it! Super jealous of that first class flight, by the way.

    • Charlie and Brittany June 4, 2015 at 12:36 pm · · Reply

      Thanks Rachel!

      The first class flight was definitely what it was cracked up to be. We are definitely now dreading our flight on Condor Air to Frankfurt in a few weeks. We will be posting just how we pulled this off in the coming weeks!

  5. I invest and manage our own money, therefore very curious about your new breakthrough. Sounded like you have someone investing your money for you and worked out very well. I am looking forward to hear more about it in detail.

    • Charlie and Brittany June 4, 2015 at 12:34 pm · · Reply

      Young,

      We don’t have anyone managing our money. Our breakthrough came with affiliate marketing and SEO. Stay tuned as we post more and more information on just how we did this.

  6. What an incredible story. My nontraditional wandering heart led me to quit my nursing job a little over a year ago to start something new. I moved across the country and pursued a certification in Pilates. Now being a Pilates instructor for around 6 months, I realize how much I still hate working for someone. I have been dabbling with creating an online (perhaps youtube) business for my Pilates but I am struggling with the starting portion. I have recorded a few videos but my perfectionist side keeps stopping me from posting them because they are not as good as other videos I have seen. Your post is inspiring and i just wanted to say thank you for giving me a little push.

    • Trading Traveler June 10, 2015 at 12:23 pm · · Reply

      Corryne,

      I am really glad you enjoyed the post. I actually read your comment out loud to my mom as she’s a nurse. I told her its time to trade in her scrubs and hit the road too! I was the exact same way as you trying to be a perfectionist at all stages. This will only slow you down. For example, having a pretty looking header is not going to make sales, the content is. Focus on the content first and everything else will fall into place. Reach out to us if you find yourself stuck. Good luck and keep on pushing!

  7. It’s been really good finding your website and I will definitely keep an eye on it in future as my partner and I have been travelling around the world for the last 4 years. Currently in New Zealand. 🙂

    We made our money through affiliate marketing first but I have always had this thought in the back of my mind about trading (penny stocks, probably not FOREX) and adding that to what I do. So I’m curious do you still trade or do you purely focus on the online side now?

    Best wishes to the both of you
    Paul and Rachel

    • Trading Traveler September 21, 2015 at 9:06 am · · Reply

      Hey Paul,

      Thanks for reading! Where about in NZ are you? We just got to NZ yesterday and will be here 2 months exploring around.

      We are focused on the affiliate side more now than trading. It is much more appealing to make money while we sleep and not worry about being woken up in the middle of the night to a text message triggered via MT4 Trading Platform. This was happening all too often and in countries with less than stellar internet made for many issues. Penny stocks are an interesting animal as well. What do you plan to do with Penny Stocks? Once we settle down a little more I’d like to get back into my options trading. This is where I originally started and much more manageable than Forex. Look forward to hearing about what you are looking at in regards to the Pink Sheets.

      Charlie

  8. Hey Charlie, I know exactly what you are saying and where you have got to. I am a trader (futures) and took me 8 years to get to a profitable place. I threw in several jobs thinking now I am ready, I went traveling as a trader with expectations it would cover my costs, but it wasn’t paying the bills. It is a psychologically difficult place to be. Good on you guys for being committed and finding a way forward and reaching your goals.
    Enjoy New Zealand (my home country), you will love it there.

    • Charlie and Brittany October 11, 2015 at 8:14 pm · · Reply

      Hey Aaron – sounds like you know the game all too well! We are absolutely loving NZ. Its incredibly beautiful! Are you in NZ now? Thanks for the comment!

  9. Great story and inspiring! I just started dabbling in the online world. Location Independence is something I want to strive towards but I have started now.

    How long are you guys back home? And where are you heading next?

    • Charlie and Brittany December 9, 2015 at 2:38 pm · · Reply

      Thanks so much! We are back home for the holidays and looks like heading to Bali after Christmas. Still trying to work out our travel plans 🙂 That’s great that you have decided to work toward a location independent lifestyle. It is truly rewarding. Good luck to you!

  10. Would love to hear/learn from you at some point. Wife and I in our late 50’s liquidated everything and rented on a 1 year lease beginning 1st week of January 2016. We have 18 months before we end up on someones couch to figure out how to make a living…:)

    Cheers…

  11. What type of via did you hold to stay and work in Thailand for 1 year?

  12. Hi, thank you for your article it is great to get some encouragement to keep going but also some realistic ideas of how much work, time and energy you need to achieve in the online space. We are just starting out with our website, travel blog and learning new skills like SEO all the time. I am looking forward to reading more about affiliate marketing and how to be location independent (much to the disgust of our adult children!). Keep up the great work, I hope to be out of economy and into business in 2 years. Cheers Cath

    • Charlie and Brittany June 8, 2017 at 7:07 am · · Reply

      Haha love it! Sounds like you have some great goals set! Its definitely a learning process – but a fun one at that. Good luck on your new adventure 😉

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