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How I Turned My Passion Into My Full Time Income

passions to income
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This is slightly different to the normal content I put out but I really wanted to share this story…

I’ve been working online for about 6 – 7 years now and through the lecturing I do I’ve also helped others shift to self employment.

I wanted to share my story about how I managed to turn my passion into my job and most importantly how you can too.

Who is this episode for?

  • If you’re fed up with your career
  • If you hate getting up for work in the morning
  • If you ‘live for the weekend’
  • If you’re passionate about an idea but fear turning it into a business
  • If you want to become more successful

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Can’t Listen? Here’s A Transcript

So hey it’s Paul and welcome back to the Ultimate Man Podcast.

So in today’s quick-fire episode, I’m gonna be sharing a story with you and this story, this personal story is how I managed to turn a passion into a full time income. Now with the opportunities that we’ve got right now to turn our passion into a business, I’m gonna be sharing with you how I did it, the mistakes I made as well along the way and also how you can too. So, if you’re feeling unfulfilled in your career right now, then this episode should help.

I’m gonna dive straight in to the story and explain how I went and turned a passion into a full time income.

So I haven’t got too much planned for this episode, I just wanted to create a raw, honest episode where I speak about how seven years ago I went, left my job and started to work online and also just share with you how right now, the majority of people can in fact turn their passion into a full time income. There’s so many opportunities for us out there right now but due to fear and due to a lot of reasons we shy away from it. So I really wanted to just open up and explain how I did it, you know the mistakes I made and maybe give you some inspiration to go ahead and do so too.

When it comes to my story, it was around I’d say, yes about seven years ago now, just hit seven years where obviously, I lost my dad back in March 2009 to suicide and prior to this happening, I was always a guy who had a kind of entrepreneur spirit I guess you can say and the reason why was when I was, when I was younger, when I was about say from 13, I think I was about 14, I started to sell clothing.

I started to sell clothing bought directly from China. So I had a contact who could order from a whole set in China from a factory in China and I used to get clothing shipped to me and then I used to sell on the clothing. I used to sell it to friends, to people at school, I used to sell it on eBay as well and I did that in fact, I have a really good you know, custom on eBay and from 14 up to about, I’d say about 18, I kept doing that.

I kept you know selling clothing from the supplier and you know I started to make okay wage, I was still working part-time as well in a supermarket but I remember when I used to sit on the tills, I used to plan out the millions I would make from selling this clothing. And you know, I was doing that for a while and that really, really kind of excited me. Like when I was working in the supermarket making the security wage as you can call it. I was always planning the next step. I was always planning the next best thing and what I could do to make more money from this.

And the moment that sticks out in my mind is my Dad in terms of taking risks, wasn’t one to take risks. He was very, very secure about his money and he was very, very secure in his job. Now my Dad had a physiotherapy business as well but this was a part-time business that he would spend a few hours on every evening and he had a really good custom. Obviously as a physio, I think he was charging about 30 GBP an hour which is about $45/$50 an hour and you know, and he had three to four people every night and not every night, mostly Tuesdays and Thursdays but he’d have one or two on the other days. And for him, he would have had the opportunity to go full time.

I know he would and I know he considered it but he didn’t because he shied away from it, he didn’t enjoy the risk and obviously he had a full time income that was paying a steady wage. He knew what money was coming in and what money would go out and how much he could save. And he really, really did you know avoid the risk of having you know, an independent income and not knowing how much he would make every single month.

So you know, for me that’s, I — I’ve obviously developed that behavior. So the first thing that I did is I went to school, I worked in a supermarket while doing the whole selling clothing thing on the side, then I went in to College, did A levels, still supermarket, still clothing and then I went to work and I started to work in a helpdesk, an I.T. Helpdesk and my vision was to work my way up.

I always wanted to become the boss but it was to work my way up in this company. I enjoyed putting on a suit and thinking that I was important and going to work but in reality, sitting on the phone and just answering questions about why someone’s computer isn’t working and it wasn’t fulfilling for me and you know, in the sideline I was starting to sell more clothing and more accessories on eBay. So I started to you know, I was still doing that and I was still making a small income from there.

Then I lost my Dad in March to suicide, that was the biggest shake up for me. Like, my Dad had you know, have this money saved, he saved a lot, not– he didn’t save a lot. He didn’t have a lot of money in you know, in reality but his emphasis was on saving, his emphasis was on security and saving for the future and then obviously what happened to him was a huge, huge wake up call for me.

It hit me badly and I just started my job, this job in the I.T helpdesk and day three of the job, he had his first accident. So this is when he, you know, a week within him having a breakdown, he walked in front of a van after he walked out of a hospital and you know, I had a week or two off and went back to the job while my dad was overcoming it. So when he was obviously in hospital, I went to visit him every night after work, when he come out of hospital, you know and he was still recovering from it.

You know I was still working there, and then obviously when he took his life six months later, I crumbled and I obviously didn’t go to work and in fact, it was, it was, I remember it vividly, I was at work and you know he was at my Nana and Granddad’s and I rung them and I asked them how he was and where he was and he said he’d gone for a walk. And you know, I remember just, I just knew there and then that that was it and I left work early, got stuck in traffic and you know and the rest I’ve explained before. And then I didn’t go to work for obviously a few weeks, I got signed off and I went back and I remember just thinking everyone is looking at me. Then there was someone who approached me and was like, where have you been, have you been on holiday and I thought, Oh I thought everyone knew and then I thought no one cared about me and that everything was fine.

And to cut a long story short, I lost it probably two weeks after going back and maybe it was a little bit longer or maybe shorter I can’t remember coz it was seven years ago and I left.

You know I said to Mum, My Mum is very supportive, she always has been and I love her for that that she just said that you know, if that’s what you wanna do, do it. I left with the vision of going to the University to become a P.E. Teacher but I also had the vision of you know, I wanna do something with my life.

I don’t want to be working 9 to 5, I want to enjoy every single moment of my life from this point forward and I decided to you know, put some more money that I’d saved also a bit of inheritance money into this eBay business and I started to sell more and more clothes and accessories and then I transformed into an online retailer and I made huge amounts of mistakes.

You know everything was self-taught. I was scouring the net for how to create an online business and I was in forums and asking questions and people said you know go to China, you get higher return on investment.

So I went ahead and bought stuff from China. I went and got 3,000 pairs of shoelaces and this is a funny story, I got 3,000 pairs of shoelaces because I could get them for 10 pence a pair and I had my brand imprinted on them and I looked on eBay and they were selling for 3.99 GBP a pair. So I did the math, If I could get them for 10 pence per pair sell them for 3.99 per pair and I’ve got 3,000 and when I sell all 3,000 that’s gonna be a nice wager but the issue was obviously later on down the line is I couldn’t sell 3,000 pairs of shoelaces.

I made mistakes in terms of the money that I spend and stock that I bought but I went ahead and did it. I got it out there, I expected to make more money than I did from it in the beginning but it was a learning curve. I learned so much from it because everything was self-taught. You know, there’s so much information out there right now that you can get information if you act upon that information, you’re going to you know, make something from it.

So you know I launched this site it was called brighterman.com and it sold accessories for men and like I said you know I plucked away at that for a good three, four years and I was you know, working on online marketing. How could I get people to my website? I looked at YouTube, I looked at you know, getting celebrities to endorse the product, SEO ranking in Google, Facebook, Social Media and I was doing everything on my own. I was sending out the product, you know I was answering the phone at home in my pyjamas. I was expecting it to be a big company.

You know, I was doing everything and in reality I burnt myself out. I hated it in the end but it was always like my baby, it was always my first project but I burnt myself out. I distracted myself, from the the shit that I always did, in terms of my dad and the things that’s going in my life, in handling what happened. We’ve worked so I just ended up working loads to try and make money, to try and make it a success. And that is the key lesson that I learned and I wanna share with you is if you’re going in to something because you want to make money, you’re not coming from the right place.

So you’re gonna find it hard to stay inspire and stay motivated and when I was always wanting to make money from the business, it struggled because it was always striving for more and I was coming from a state of (lack?). If you know, I started making nothing, then I was selling this clothing and then I was maybe making you know 200-300 GBP a month. And then you know I launched this site and maybe making you know, maybe 800 GBP a month, then you know, I was maybe making a 1000 GBP a month, but it was still not enough, it was still striving, striving, striving, striving to earn more and more, more, more, I (was) never (celebrated my win?) because all my focus was was making money.

That is the key lesson, you know don’t come, if you wanna create something, if you want to create a full time income around you know working for yourself, don’t come from a state of wanting to make money. It needs to be something that serves you and most importantly serves others.

So anyway because of that I started to write for different blogs and one of those was fashionbeans.com which is a really, really good resource, a really, really good site. And from there you know I started to write for them for free but endorse my products. So it was you know a typical, if you enjoy this, then check out this. You know, and I was writing these long articles, recommending my products in them and that started to generate some sales.

Then for me it was like, why don’t just I create my own blog similar to FashionBeans so I can just go ahead create loads of content, get visitors to the blog and then recommend the products that I was selling and that was of course, MFM. That was mensfashionmagazine.com and at that time that was just like a, say a, side project. It was a satellite site to generate sales for brighterman.com but it naturally started to take off and the reason why it started to naturally do well was because it was offering value, you know. I was putting out free for Art Schools every single week for free on style, on fitness, on anything to help men improve the way they look and because I was putting out this content for free, and obviously recommending the products I was selling within the content. People were naturally finding the site, they were naturally sharing the site, and they’re telling their friends about the site and people started to come to it and because I was then generating those visitors, I was generating those traffic, it become easy to monetize.

So I remember having an email from someone, really loved the site, would love to send you something for free if you could write a review about it and at that time you know for me, that was great, If I can get some free shit from this small project of mine, then you know that’s perfect. I was getting a lot of free stuff. And then an email would come in, I’d love to you know pay for a banner ad, you know I’ll pay a hundred pound a month for a banner on your site and again for me that was a much better business model than having to sales talk physically. Someone would transfer me a hundred pounds. I’d put an image on my website and then that would be it.

I really started putting more time into my magazine and really then, that’s when it started to develop. I dropped brighterman.com, I sold that in the end and you know, I still had stock left but I just had no passion in it whatsoever. I didn’t like the business model. I didn’t like the vision anymore.

So I got rid of that and then started to apply attention into the magazine. Started to really develop it into a presence and most importantly, a full-time income. I wasn’t really struggling for money anymore. You know, money would come in from advertising, from you know, various sponsorships, from the things that we were selling, from the digital editions that we then launched. So it started to become my full-time income and my full-time, you know, approach.

I was also doing lettering which believe it or not, come from an art (score?) that I wrote on fashion beams, you know, ages ago. I was doing that as well, generating some income. And I was doing some consultancy work for a guy that I still work with.

So to cut a long story short, and I’ll get to the meat of this episode. I really enjoyed the magazine and because of that enjoyment, it started to generate an income. But it was still coming from a place of “I want to make money”. You know, how can I turn this magazine into something that makes me “X” amount every single month?

And I quickly found, after working with a mentor, that my passion, my purpose, isn’t the magazine. The magazine is still my magazine. I still run it to this day but a lot of it is outsourced right now. And the reason is because I don’t get fulfillment from the magazine anymore. It’s a business. I don’t see it as a way— it doesn’t make me happy. So if I was writing a thousand word article on how to wear the blazer, which I’ve done before. That’s not going to fulfill me. That is not going to inspire me; it’s not going to motivate me. If I was to create a thousand word article on how to let go of guilt or how to turn your passions into a full-time income, or how to get motivated, or how to overcome depression, then that’s where I’m coming from. That’s my purpose and I’m a lot more inspired to do so.

This is where it really comes down to what I learned and what I learned is, number one, if you have a passion then you need to do whatever you can to get it out there. So you need to shift your attention from serving you, making you money into serving others.

So for me, when I started to do this self-development stuff and even to this day, my focus isn’t “I’m going to make money from this”. My focus is if I can help one person, two people, three people, you know, ten people, a hundred people. The amount of people— if I can help people, then this is going to continue to drive me. And because it’s— because you know, I’m willing and I really, really want to serve others, I’m inspired to do it. And creating content for free for me is easy. It doesn’t feel like a chore. So the more content I put out, the more value I’m offering others. But also because of that it then becomes an easy way to generate an income and I found this, you know, and so many other people that you can think of who are now generating an income is, they’re offering value, they’re doing it because they’re inspired and they want to serve others. They’re serving others and then opportunities to make money from that value arise.

Whether it’s creating a digital product, a physical product. Whether it’s coaching, whether it’s you know, consulting, whether it’s writing a book and selling that book. Creating a—if you create loads of YouTube videos, it’s free, put them on YouTube, start to generate an audience, then you’re going to get brands wanting to sponsor you for those videos. Pay you to recommend their brands in those videos.

So when you create value, when you serve others, the opportunities to make money from that arise and that is never ever the sole purpose. So just some example, so if you think of Tony Robins. Tony Robins was one who’s always wanting to serve others and you know, his story is very similar. He you know was serving others, helping others and then opportunities arise.

There’s a guy called Joe Wicks in the UK. He’s the body coach. If you search on Instagram “The Body Coach”. Now he, again, is just a regular guy, I think he’s a personal trainer interested in fitness. He started to create short little videos on Instagram. They were called “Lean in 15”. Short little cooking videos and because he consistently offered this value, he started to generate an audience. Now he’s generated that audience and he’s offered that value for free, he can now monetize that audience. And he is obviously generating, you know, massive amounts every single year, you know, well over seven figures a year. You know, probably approaching eight figures every year and he was—and you know, again that’s because of his value. He’s giving value and then, now he’s got that audience—right, I’m going to write a book, ok I’m going to create a digital product, ok someone wants to sponsor me for this video. Ok I’ll accept that and then money will start to arise from that opportunity.

So what I’m trying to get at is start— you know, there are so many opportunities out there as well. If you’ve got a passion about something, start creating value. Start sharing that passion. You’ve got YouTube; you can create a video on your phone right now. A short video, you know, of you holding the camera around. Record a video, sharing a tip, sharing something that you’re passionate about. Then you can upload that to YouTube for free. You can then do that the next day. You can maybe do that twice a week, three times a week, once a week. And just by consistently doing it, and trying to get it out there to as many people, you’re going to build value.

You could do it on Instagram, you could share images, and you could start following other people. You could start collaborating with others, other influencers. You know, Snapchat. You can start to generate, and start offering value on there. Periscope. You can create a blog. You know, go to YouTube and search “How to Make a Blog”. There’s a video by me on there. There are also other videos of me if you want to watch those but my video shows you how to do it in 15 minutes.

Creating a blog isn’t hard. Anyone can do it. You don’t have to be technically savvy to create a blog. You could go, create a blog tonight and start blogging. Start offering posts that share your wisdom, share your advice of something that you’re passionate about. And by doing that again, you know, and start, you know, trying to drive visitors to that blog, you’re going to start generating an audience.

So it really is all about, thinking about what you’re passionate about, what you want to do. Then look at one way of getting that, you know, getting your story, getting your passion out there whether it’s because you like writing, to go to blogging, whether you’re good on videos, go to YouTube. Whether it’s Instagram because you use Instagram a lot. Whatever it is, just make sure you focus on getting that content out there.

Then as soon as you consistently get that content out there and offer value, you’re then going to have opportunities to make money. And that would naturally come from whether you want to create a digital product, whether you want to create a physical product, such as a t-shirt, such as you know, merchandise, such as, you know, I don’t know. (Chuckles) Any kind of physical product, clothing, whatever you want to create, you can then sell. Whether you want to write a book, whether you then get sponsorships. Whatever it is, once you serve others, you build that value; the money opportunities will then arise.

There are so many examples of this. You know, look at some of the people, some of the blog. There’s people on Instagram, people on YouTube that generate a full-time income now, all come from them creating free content, free value.

So hopefully this helps. If I was to start again guys, you know, I’d go the opposite route. I wouldn’t invest the money in stock as I did and then try and get visitors. I would just find what I’m passionate about. I would then put as much value and content out as I possibly could, knowing whether like it’s an hour after work. Knowing that you’re not going to make money quickly from it. An hour after work, every evening, maybe at the weekends, I’d put as much content out as I possibly can. Not using time as an excuse. Every morning, maybe I’ll get up an hour early and create a blog post, an hour early and create a video, an hour early and schedule up on my Instagram updates.

I would do that and keep building value of something that I am passionate about because when you’re passionate about it as well guys, you know, you then—it doesn’t become a chore. It becomes something that you love to do. I love creating these episodes, I love creating articles, and I love creating videos because I’m passionate about it.

Start generating content and value about the subject you are passionate about and then the opportunities to generate money from that will arise. So start putting content out, look at ways to then obviously build attention to that content whether it’s people on YouTube watching your videos, more followers on Instagram, more visitors to your website. Put the content out there and then build visitors and then the money opportunities will arise.

Hopefully this episode helps a little bit off the cuff. Obviously I lecture on this kind of stuff, maybe that why I’ve managed to wing it without scripting it. Hopefully this helped. Don’t—and there’s a really good quote and I can’t remember the quote and I can’t remember how it’s put but basically you don’t want to be the guy sitting there on your deathbed wishing that you did something that you shied away from. So if you’re unfulfilled in your career right now, do something about it. Spend an hour every evening trying to make a change or go to do a job that you enjoy and do this on the side.

So many people as well live for the weekends. Why are you fucking living for the weekends? I don’t mean to curse. Why are you living for the weekends? The weekends are Saturday and Sunday. What are you doing on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? If you’re feeling unfulfilled five days of the week and feeling fulfilled two days of the week, there’s a huge imbalance there. You need to start being more fulfilled in your career. You need to love your work. I wake up every day and can’t wait to dive into work. And people say that that’s strange but when you’re passionate, when you love what you do, it’s not. It’s not strange at all. So go ahead and do it. It’s not as hard as you think it is but you need to take action.

The only thing that I want to leave it with is that there is so much information out there as well guys. So much, so much information out there. There is so much conflict and advice. Instagram is better than Snapchat. Snapchat is better than Instagram. This blog is better than this blog. You need to just find something that has worked for someone and replicate it. Be focused on what you’re going to do and just consistently do it. If you think video is for me, start on YouTube. Just do YouTube. YouTube videos. YouTube videos. If you want to do blogging, do blogging, maybe social media as well. Just find a path, be consistent on it and keep taking action. Action is key. There is always a quicker way of doing something but don’t get distracted by that. Just keep taking imperfect actions over and over and over again.

Hopefully you enjoyed this episode. If you did, reach out. You can email me, paul@pmcgregor.com. Hopefully it’s inspired you. Don’t live for the weekend. If you’re unfulfilled in your career and you want to start turning your passions into an income, you can.

There we go guys. Like I said, hopefully this helps. I’ve got an awesome interview lined up coming out on Thursday so in two days’ time. So make sure you look out for that and I will see you soon.

 

Paul McGregor
Founder of MFM, Lecturer at the London College of Fashion and Online Consultant.
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