When I started this journey, it was with the intention to always live the life I wanted. I enjoy being an entrepreneur, it’s why I left the cushy corporate lifestyle. Microsoft was an incredible journey but it didn’t fulfill me the way you think it would. As a young computer engineer, I always thought I’d be the happiest landing a job at a big IT company and move up the ladder.
Over the course of my 5 years at Microsoft, I did that. I worked hard, I learned new technology, and always rose to the top of my team. I ended up being a lead on every team I managed. The first team, taking me less than 6 months to get there. I don’t say this to brag, but to demonstrate that when you work hard, you will get what you want. However, was it really what I wanted?
Growing up, I lived in rough neighborhoods. My mom would move from guy to guy and we just had to deal as kids. I was told to go to school, make good grades, get a corporate job, and life will be great. I made it my mission and did that. Last summer, I was on a 140k contract with Microsoft. I only got to take home 80k of that, with the rest fulfilling my benefits package and of course my vendor taking their cut. I had a 4 bedroom house, a new car, I worked at home, 3 days off per week. You would think that this was the dream right? At the end of every day though, I always felt like something was missing.
I felt like there has to be more that life to this. I made the decision to start saving so I could leave Microsoft. I wanted to start my own company where I could serve commercial customers with server related issues. Basically duplicating the processes that worked so well for me at Microsoft. Well this last contract with them, they brought on some new project managers. Anyone who has done contract work, knows how much a bad project manager can fuck a team up. As the lead, it was my job to keep my guys on task and also make sure they enjoyed it too.
I created automated processes, sometimes these processes fail. That’s normal, what isn’t normal is this new project manager pushing against automation. He wanted all hands on deck manually doing work that I spent months automating with my team. The team morale was failing and everyone was miserable. They were being forced to work longer hours and didn’t understand why this manager wouldn’t go with the proven automation. We were a team of skilled engineers, getting paid handsomely, there was no reason we should have been doing all this manual work when all of us can script these jobs.
Fast forward time, it got to the point where I was always butting heads with this manager. I wrote some pretty in-depth emails on how he was fucking up my team. It boiled down to my boss and my vendor being in a meeting. They were scared of losing the contract because they didn’t like the way I talked to the manager. They told me, they don’t care if the Microsoft Project Manager is wrong or not, it’s our job to do what they say regardless. I told them I couldn’t do that. I don’t care who the customer is, if they are fucking up, I will let them know. I refused to continue bringing down my team when I knew we could perform these tasks in half the time had we used automated scripts.
We agreed to disagree and I left the contract. I decided that day that I was never going to work for someone again. I had just over $3000 in my account. I wasn’t quite prepared to leave the company yet, I wanted to have a 10k nest egg. However, life doesn’t always work the way we want it to. What did I do next? At this point, I had already started diving into internet marketing and how to build a brand online. I found this guy named Billy Gene. I took some of his courses before and his teachings helped me build the community I already had. I figured, what would be the best way for me to take this $3000 and hit the ground running with my business? I was planning to do a webinar, start teaching online, start building websites, all this crazy stuff. You know how it is when your brain runs one hundred miles an hour with fresh ideas.
Lucky for me, Billy was holding an in person workshop. This is where I would get hands on experience learning from the man himself. In my mind, I though that was going to be my best investment. I was trying to do it on my own and making traction but I wasn’t independent yet. Also lucky for me, I have a queen that supports everything I do. If it wasn’t for her pushing me to chase these dreams, I wouldn’t be here typing this. I’d probably be at another Microsoft gig, unhappy on another team.
Anyways, I spent all my savings to go to California and join Billy for this workshop. I paid extra so I’d get to meet him 1-1 and ask him a question. When I got my chance, I said this; “Billy, I just left Microsoft after 5 years. I don’t want to go back to work. I know I have the knowledge to help people but none of my online courses are ready. I’m still recording videos and I know they will be good when I’m done but I need to make money in the interim. How do you suggest I go about it?”
His answer? “Big Marv, you know how many of my courses have been ready before release? 0. Just do it. You’re the real deal. I’ve seen your videos, you know your shit, you left fucking Microsoft. There are tons of people that want to do that. Just start releasing content, stay ahead, the community will follow.”
That’s when it clicked. I need to just do it. I was letting my fear control me. I was letting the haters with negative comments about me, keep me from posting. I always struggle with insecurities of not being good enough. The point is, we are all human. You can’t let your fears rule you. Someone has been where you are and you are where someone is trying to get. Just start chasing your passion, cater to your community, be prolific and release a lot of content. It won’t be gold, especially in the beginning. You will get better though. It’s been almost a year on this journey and I’m still not elevated to the highest point. There’s still a long road ahead. However, I am now officially making more than I did at Microsoft. 🙂
With that being said, just fucking do it guys. Share your message. Follow your passion. There are 2 billion people on Facebook. There are other people doing exactly what you love. Build a community around you and your journey. Cater to your community. Help for free. Change your mindset from “How can I make money?” to “How can I serve my community?”. Once I did this, all the videos I needed to make came to mind. All the courses I needed to drop came to mind. The more you work on your passion, you will catch yourself saying “my community would love this” then you pull out your camera and start recording. Share you, share your life, share your journey. Others will connect. Like I said, someone has been in your shoes and others are chasing to be in your shoes.
Who’s my target demographic? Fellow entrepreneurs trying to ditch that day job and become independent. I’ve been there. I may not be a millionaire yet but I know if I serve my community and help them become millionaires, the money will come. Never think about the money, just think about your community.
At the end of the day, remember why you started this journey. It’s easy for me to get lost into “work” because I love what I do so much, I am addicted to being on the computer. I have to remind myself to take a day. That’s what I did this weekend, I ghosted everyone for 24 hours. I do this periodically, just ignore the phone and social media, enjoy my family and life around me. Remember to do that, we start this journey so we can be free. It’s not about the money, it’s about freedom. The freedom to do what you want, when you want, without looking at a bank account. When you are finally in a position that you are independent, remember to take those reflection days. Reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. Re-align your mind then go back to killing it.
Thanks for reading! Here’s to the next part of the journey!