Why I Quit (or How To Go From $10k/month Profit To $0/month Overnight)

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“I’ll give you $50,000 + 50% of the revenue for life.”

That was one of the many offers I received for the 6 figure business I talked about on Monday.

4 hour work week?

I had that business so automated I think it was 4 hour work month. All physical products were fulfilled by a fulfillment center in Ohio, all customer support was outsourced for $15/hour to a really awesome Canadian company, all digital sales were fulfilled via autoresponder/Paypal/Clickbank/2Checkout, bookkeeping/accounting was outsourced, Authorize.net merchant account deposits came in every day like clockwork … it was completely hands off.

And that’s where the problems started appearing.

My life went from trying to provide as much possible value as I could to each fan, subscriber, and customer to just wanting to make as much money as possible in as little time as possible.

I was turning into a greedy son of a bitch.

I didn’t know what to do, but I began looking for a way out.

I e-mailed a few people who I respected and told them I’m selling. I had a 50,000 subscriber double opt-in e-mail list, so in addition to the business being completely hands off, I had some really valuable assets on my hands.

I got some really great offers. A few were in the 6 figure range, but I think the $50k + 50% revenue was the best one, simply because it was a guaranteed income stream.

From $10k/month To $0/month

One day (June 15, 2005 – did I ever mention my brain remembers everything?), without consulting anybody about it, I just shut it all down. Profits went from over $10k/month to $0/month.

And I felt relief.

You might think it’s stupid “throwing away” that much money. Many people told me I was insane.

But I “bought” something more important than cash: integrity, dignity, pride.

See, that infoproduct business sold the “how to sell on eBay” type products I talked about in How I Created My First 6 Figure Biz. I had all but stopped selling on eBay by 2005. So I had been selling products teaching people how to sell on eBay while I was no longer actively doing so.

Even though my eBay knowledge was vast (marketing is marketing whether it’s eBay, offline, online, whatever) I didn’t feel good about it and quitting this business was the only respectable plan of action.

Going through that taught me very important lessons about treating customers with respect and providing massive value …

How To Be Ignored

The following seemingly has nothing to do with business, but there’s an important message in these words …

A little over a year ago I was seeing a girl. One day, after she had just spent 2 straight weeks at my house, she gave me a kiss, walked out of my house, and went home.

I called her later that day to say something silly, but she didn’t pick up. No big deal. I don’t expect people to answer every single phone call. So I left a message. And didn’t hear back. A day later I called again, wondering if something had happened. Again, no response. A text went unanswered as well.

I didn’t know whether she died or what was going on. Whatever it was, not knowing and being ignored like that was painful.

The Pursuit Of Every Single Connection

It wasn’t until a week later that I heard from her. I’ll spare you the details. The important thing is that being ignored reinforced an important lesson about how to treat people.

That’s why I’m so adamant about responding to every comment, every e-mail, and every tweet. It’s not a scalable strategy at all, but it feels good to get a response from someone you take the time to connect with, doesn’t it? I know how much I hate being ignored and I did a lot of ignoring that last year of running the automated-beyond-belief eBay how to business.

Will I always be able to respond to every single connection? To be honest: no. But I’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. Today? Yes, I can respond. More than that, I want to respond. It’s not a burden. I don’t feel like I’m wasting time. I love it.

I’m fired up about truly helping 100 people achieve Ridiculously Extraordinary Freedom. At its core, that is what this site is about, after all.

A little while ago I talked about establishing trust. Shutting down a $10k/month business instead of selling it or continuing on with it really boiled down to re-establishing trust with the world … and myself.

Today I do my best to over-deliver. That’s why this blog is free. It’s my payment to you. Yes, How To Live Anywhere is coming June 8, and I will release more products in the future. (Although I have no clue what those will be since I put everything into How To Live Anywhere.) But it doesn’t matter to me whether you ever buy anything or not. If you want to connect, I’m happy to connect. I want to rock your world with what I do here. And in return all I ask is that you keep rocking my world by reading / commenting / tweeting / sharing / e-mailing. :)

How To Be Trustworthy, Ethical, and Still Rock Hard and Live Anywhere

You don’t have to resort to underhanded tactics to make money. Yes, there is millions being made by shady marketing, and you can do that if you want. No judgments, it doesn’t matter to me. (Although you should probably stop reading this blog if that’s your game.)

What does matter to me is getting the message out that being ethical is OK. You can still make a ton of money by being cool. You can live an awesome life and have anything you could ever want. Whether that’s a tiny house in the woods, a 10,000 square foot mansion in Beverly Hills, or a non-stop vagabond live-and-work-anywhere-life full of amazing experiences, it is all possible.

And you know what? Every night, when you lay your head upon your freshly fluffed pillow, you’ll have a great night’s sleep. No stress, no strain, just love.

Note: Results are not typical. I don’t know whether you’ll ever be in a position to shut down a 6 figure business, much less actually run a 6 figure business. Hustle, focus, work hard, and awesome things can happen! ;)

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{ 58 comments }

Kenny

Love this post! I read it three times. Once again proof that every single thing does happen for a reason. Just awesome! Can’t wait for the release on June 8th!!!

Karol

:) Thanks Kenny!

Jan

Very informative article for me. It makes me feel that a hunt for money is not important in the actual world,…em… at least not for people who are following their dreams and are trying to find a freedom.

I am really excited to see what coming next from Karol’s writings, this article was a candy for me to read… =)

Very excited about the new website “How To Live Anywhere”.

Good luck man!

Karol

Thank you Jan! I put a lot into How To Live Anywhere. I hope you love it! :)

Jan

I know you got the skills, experience since I am reading your blog, so I believe there is not doubt about I would not love it! I am sure I will.

I have set the time of launch even to my calendar. =]

Karol

That’s so cool! I’m so glad you’re into it Jan!

Baran

Funny title. :) Will the ones who bought the first version get that fast action bonus?

Karol

Hey Baran,

Damn, it wasn’t supposed to be funny. haha

Thanks for asking. Only for the upgraded Long Haul edition. (I sent some details about that upgrade to you recently.)

Cheers,
Karol

Vinay

Cool post. I am enjoying reading about your past business ventures. Keep it up!

Karol

Thanks Vinay! :)

Eric

Thank you for this honest, inspiring post. The more I read on your blog the more I am convinced that focusing on dreams instead of hunting money is the key. Currently I am asking myself what I expect from life. I started a blog about my profession just today.

Keep up the stuff you are doing! :)

Karol

Hi Eric! That’s awesome. Taking action is the first step to changing your world. :)

Kunal

Karol,

Wow, this post speaks volumes! I, too, had an ebay business – and I got my start NOT by selling physical products, but I ended up writing a book on stock market investing – and sold it as an ebook (eBay worked great at that time because I had no clue how to set up an ecommerce website, and eBay, as I’m sure you know already, took care of everything from listing, to selling, to collecting payment, to deliver – a perfect vehicle).

Anyways, the book was received well, nothing like $10k, but I was selling maybe 1-2 books a week – I was thrilled because I loved the autopilot system. But I, too, shut down the listings – because I had a huge hangup of teaching people about stock market investing, even though I was still in school, and (at that time) was relatively new to investing.

Because I felt an incongruence between what I was teaching, and how I was actually living. So I shut it down, even though I loved the autopilot system, but I knew it was the right thing to do until I gained more experience under my belt.

Karol

Hey Kunal. That’s great. I think a lot of people get stuck in certain businesses just because they’re easy instead of focusing on value. While I was still providing value in that eBay how to business, I wasn’t on top of the game because I wasn’t selling on eBay anymore and I didn’t think it was right staying in the business.

Kunal

But you know what’s even more interesting, Karol – and this is the classic case of how YOU can become your own worst enemy – or perhaps it’s about realizing what’s important to you:

Today, investing is my passion, possibly more than ever, but I almost DO NOT want to start a blog/website/business on the side – contrary to how much I love autopilot systems and the internet – just to avoid a complete life imbalance. Because it is so easy to spend every waking moment doing something that you love – you have to realize that YES there are only X amount of productive hours in a day – and you need to find a balance.

There is always good karma around when you help people, but at the same time, but there are time when you need and SHOULD be selfish with your time – finding a life balance is equally important.

Do you know what I mean?

Karol

Yeah man, I fully hear you. If you started teaching investing you might lose the passion for actually doing the investing. I know what you mean. And like you said, that would be an extra business that you’d have to devote precious time to.

Bill

Karol,
You make a great point about doing what interests you and what you love and the money will follow. Its not necessary to make a fortune as long as you are ethical, interested in your work, and doing something valuable for others.

I’m looking forward to your book. I hope to be able to live and work from my sailboat someday, I think your lessons will transfer well.

Karol

Thanks Bill! I have no problem with making a fortune. But what’s more important is making a fortune with purpose and pride. :)

I hope you love the course! I can’t wait to unleash it on the world. :)

Karol

Ali Starbright

The future of the human race is empathy. Like your style in not ignoring people. Whatever our motives we’re still people. BTW have you helped 100 people yet? I could use some with http://wonderful-wordpress-websites.com. Thanks for being proudly vegan. That’s the future too.

Karol

Hey Ali!

That’s a good point: empathy. Very important.

Your Web site looks good, but I can’t help too much without specific questions. What are your results? What have you done? How have you made sales before? Why did you choose that market? Who is your target customer?

I hope to have the Ridiculously Extraordinary 100 goal reached by the end of the year. It won’t be easy and will involve lots of people (including me) taking lots of focused action, but I think we can do it.

Cheers!
Karol

Moon Hussain

Karol,

Lovely and refreshing post. Not many would have given up that $10k/month. I’m like you: I want to make money in a clean, ethical way.

I’ll check this out when I’m done with my move (a couple of weeks). Sounds like some awesome stuff.

Karol

Thanks Moon! Looking forward to knowing what you think when you pick it up.

Have fun with the move!
Karol

Kristin Brown

Wow! I work with so many participants trying to lower their stress levels, much of which comes from jobs they can’t stand. However, they won’t leave because of the money. I think they just can’t imagine a different lifestyle. It’s pretty impressive to see someone walk away from that much money on principle alone. Kudos!

Karol

Thanks Kristin! It is difficult to leave the comforts of money so I understand. Sometimes it’s just necessary. Happiness is important. :)

David

Hey Karol! I’m looking forward to reading your guide! :D

Been working hard to be one of your hundred, put my first affiliate link in my blog :P maybe one of my two subscribers will buy the book! lol anyways, keep up the good work, its always interesting to hear what you have to say.

Karol

Awesome David! I see you linked to the China Study. I love it. It reinforced my vegan diet. Actually, it helped me change from a junk food vegan diet to a healthy vegan diet.

David

Yeah the China study rocked my world. But not enough to make me quite pizza every once in a while, lol.

James Schipper

Good stuff, even if I think you’re nuts :-D Good luck with the launch and let me know if you need anything.

Karol

hehe, I don’t think I’m nuts…everybody else seems to ;)

Thanks James!

James Schipper

Yeah, I get that a lot too :-D And another +1 for the China Study!

Lynne

I love what I have read here so far. I’m looking forward to reading your book. Have a great day and thanks for what you do! :)

Karol

Thanks for your support Lynne!

Henk

Hey again Karol ^_^

awesome post once again.

I agree with you money isnt everything. it can come in handy though;)

ps: did the weather get better? sun finally starts to shine here ^^.

Karol

Thanks Henk! Nope, still cold/rainy. Supposed to get better soon though! :)

Scott Spethman

This post really got to me. I’ve been struggling lately with ethical decisions at work and I think this post finally brought me to my senses. I look forward to saving up a chunk of change to read How to Live Anywhere. I can’t wait!

Karol

Hey Scott,

Ethical decisions are tough, but I’m glad this post helped! :)

Karol

Nicky Hajal

Karol,

One of the most powerful things about decisions like this is that they set a precedence for how you make any similar decision in the future. Anytime you are up against a situation where your integrity is at stake you no doubt think, “Did I really throw that business away to save my integrity only to lose it now?”

Strong decisions compound over time.

-Nicky

Karol

Hey Nicky!

Thanks for adding your thoughts. You’re definitely dead on, making a decision like that once really helps with future tough decisions. That same philosophy can extend to any part of our lives, not necessarily dealing with just integrity. For example, make the decision to exercise today, and the decision to do so tomorrow will be easier. Make the decision to stop eating meat today, and the decision will be easier tomorrow. And so on.

Cheers,
Karol

Abhishek

Isn’t that why we work for? A great night’s sleep.
Some days I kick myself for not owning a car. Some days I feel my (somewhat) silent protest against the Car Tax is a waste of time and energy. Guess who sleeps guilt free even after the gulf spill?
Integrity is important. Sometimes it is difficult to find. Posts like these help finding it.

Karol

Hey Abhishek,

I don’t think most people work for a great night’s sleep. Most people work for money. Straight up. I’ve defined my world differently and I’m hoping to help those who join my world with a new way of living. :)

Honestly, the oil thing is a different issue. Even if we don’t drive cars we’re still using oil. I wouldn’t feel guilty owning a car (although selling mine was a great feeling). Hell, I fly planes, which are not good for the environment either. Should I dig a hole in the middle of the woods and never leave? :) It’s about finding a balance that works for me. (Also, I’m not an environmentalist.)

Thanks for contributing and I’m glad this article spurred some good thoughts.

Cheers!
Karol

Abhishek

I confused two issues in the comment. The protest against car tax is about city planning. It is about government regulations, zoning etc that neuter mass transit make everyone require to own a car. My protesting includes not owning a car, riding a bicycle to most places or a low powered high mpg motorcycle. I, therefore use very little gas for commuting.

I don’t think you should dig a hole in the middle of the woods and never leave. There are biological draw backs to that lifestyle: food, disease, weather. That is why we formed a society and invented technology. We do it in search for quality. Most people equate high quality of life to earning lots of money. Integrity and ethics take a back seat.

If you haven’t read about Ken Kifer, find his website: http://www.kenkifer.com. He lived in the middle of the woods, worked to save just enough to go bicycle touring for months.

Scott

Karol, I have to say, this is a million dollar idea and I am not the only one that thinks so. Check this site out:

http://viralhit.com/check/www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com

I am not sure that this site really reflects a true value, but the work that you do put into this site is well received and very appreciated.

Karol

Thank you Scott! While I know this site isn’t worth a million, I wouldn’t sell it for a million if somebody offered anyway. :)

paurullan

Just thanks for the post, it made my night mental food ^_~

Karol

hehe, mental food is good :) Thank you Pau!

Jonathan Butterworth

Amazing story Karol. I will say $10,000/month is a lot of money but I really respect your reasoning for calling it quits.

Karol

Thank you Jonathan. :)

Jonny | thelifething.com

I admire your commitment to your commenters and so a question to give you some relief from the norm.

In your professional opinion, what do you think would win – A Silver Back Gorilla or a T Rex?

Being sensible though I love you blog and draw great value from it. Keep up the awesome work, it is inspiring.

Karol

How is that even a question…T Rex all the way! :)

Thanks Jonny. I’m so glad you love the blog!

alwaysLovely

Can’t help but to comment again.
Karol, I believe many can tell that you’re totally
SINCERE.
GENUINE.
Simply by the fact you respond to EVERY comment.
Small action speaks volume!

Karol

Hey alwaysLovely (it would be great if you used your real name),

Thank you! I do my best. This project means a lot to me. :)

Karol

Cal

Mate,
You do two things that I love…launches and travel….I read your sales page which said you worked with a list of 330 and a little later here it said you now had a double optin 50k list….thats a pretty steep jump….

The other thing where I relate is the part where you just forget to live and start focusing on money….I really admire you shutting it down and moving out…

I know you’ve already done Goa – but if you are ever in the region….you get these 3 bonuses
a. A hell raising bike ride in the most crazy traffic nation of the world – screw NY
b. A home cooked traditional meal – guaranteed to get the steam fizzing from your ears
c. Personal tour of the south – with a fluent English speaking guide – me:)

You up for it mate?

Cal

PS: I’d like to interview you if your up for it…

Karol

Hey Cal,

Thanks!

The 330 vs 50k lists are two completely different stories. The 50k list has been gone for years. (I deleted it.) The 330 list (I think it was actually 383 at the time of writing) is from this blog.

I won’t be back to India for a very long time, but thanks for your offer.

Interview: Shoot me an e-mail! :)

Karol

Raphael

Wyglada na to ze wszystkie sciezki prowadza w tym samym kierunku ;-)
Mam nadzieje ze kiedys uda Nam sie spotkac na ‘szlaku’ ;-)

Dziekuje i pozdrawiam
Rafal

Karol

Dziekuje Rafal! :)

Tia Sparkles Singh

Holy goosebumps! What an excellent story of profit to purpose + passion + profit :) I’d read a few of your posts before and now I feel like a day of reading everything you’ve written is in order. Thanks for sharing Karol.

Karol

:) Thank you Tia.

Kim

Kudo to your integrity! Love it!
Hah, I think we (you and me) could start a contest! I used to feel disappointed with many of my friends and feel bad about myself. But just recently, through my growing maturity and the new tool of my very own and personal trade mark”reverse thinking,” I realized that it was because nobody could match my sincerity in my relationship with others. I am in the process of trying to come up with a business plan, which a part of it involves my ability to give them undivided and sustained attention and my intuition in helping them. And I also don’t want to charge them a lot of money, because I truly want to help them. This is such a bad business plan to begin with. It’s not scalable either because everything is individualized. Maybe your books could shed some light for me.

p.s. I “remembered” I didn’t get back to you once, just haven’t got a chance, sorry, my life has been very detouring. (But you may not remember :))

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