One of the most common questions I encounter is how did you wind up in the Internet marketing business? And the question I most enjoy answering, is where does the name Bluffside Marketing come from?
The story of Bluffside Marketing begins in Brentwood, California. It was summer of 2008 and I was probably the only guy within 5 miles driving a Chevy.
Earlier that year, fresh off a film major from UW-Madison, I had packed up and moved out to LA with little more than a dream and way too much ambition. You see, ever since I was a kid I wanted to own a business and be a businessman. Having been a former farm hand turned garbage man in my younger days, I knew there had to be a slightly easier and perhaps cleaner way to make a buck and provide the world with some value.
So there I was in one of the richest cities in the US with nothing more than a laptop resting on two boxes and a camping chair from Wal-Mart. I can remember being mad that I had to pay $9 for a chair, which at the time was almost 10% of my liquid assets. Beyond that I had clothes, my car and an inflatable mattress. Yup, that’s how it all began.
Those were some very trying times to say the least. To be surrounded by all that wealth only to come home to relatively nothing really put my ego in check and made me question was this really what I wanted.
I eventually pulled out of that rut and moved to the valley on none other than Bluffside Drive (hint: this is where I got the name from). It was at this address, my second ‘office,’ which I began to finally get it when it came to making money online. I worked tirelessly. At the time I was putting in 10-hour days working as an office manager and assistant editor during the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics and coming home to work another 4-5 hours on my business. I traded in surfing trips and pool parties for websites and pay per click ad campaigns. My reward? The first money I ever made online, a huge check for the sum of $32.41!
At this point I was probably averaging about $0.10 per hour. Many people would have probably given up by now or said forget it, I’m heading to the beach. But there was this deeper desire, an inner voice that kept driving me to try just one more time.
In the summer of 2009, I left the glitz and glamor of LA and headed back to my roots in Wisconsin. It’s funny because everyone told me you’re crazy for moving to LA. Then they said the same thing when I told them I’m heading back to Madison. I just can’t win sometimes.
My first six months back in Wisconsin didn’t go so well. I was unhappy with all the long days stuck in my apartment, banging away at a keyboard for what amounted to little money and certainly no career satisfaction. Something had to change. So on a cold day in February, I called up my good friend Jason and said, I have to just pick one way to make money with the Internet as I was working on about 7 different ways at the time, and just go with it. I needed something that was going to both challenge me and provide value to others.
Truth be told, I didn’t need to call him. I already knew the answer and it was the most difficult choice to succeed with in all the ways I knew how to make money online; helping local small business owners with their online marketing. Why was this the difficult one? At the time, I had no business being in business. I was 25 with no business education and I had no sales experience whatsoever. But I did posses a skill for Internet marketing and passion for bringing that knowledge to the benefit of others.
I chose this business path for two reasons. First, to be involved with the community and to help people by using all the knowledge and expertise I had developed all those months ago in LA. Secondly, I wanted to get out from behind the computer and meet the people that make this country what it is. I was tired of hiding behind computer screens and avoiding risk. I chose to do this not for the money, but for the man it would make me become and the lives I would positively change along the way.
The next week I walked to the local municipal building and officially registered Bluffside Marketing. I love America. It’s the only country where you can wake up broke and relatively unemployed and go to bed the same day a CEO.
To bring this train home, the first year of the new Bluffside has been an amazing experience. When you get to help people and see the relief and happiness you can bring my making sense of technology and online marketing each day, it becomes very rewarding.
Thank you to everyone who has made Bluffside Marketing possible and to those who will continue to make it a success.