The Back Story of Side Project Plan
Launching my own personal marketing platform rescued me and my family from a financial setback.
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The Full Backstory
I had already enjoyed a successful 19 years in sales and leadership back in 2013. But I was shocked to be laid off from a Vice President of Sales position at a publicly-traded company in southern California.
Some weeks, I’d feel on top of the world with what my team was achieving. We won new business at a rate higher than ever in company history; we preserved at-risk clients at a clip that exceeded expectations; we provided expertise and assistance to other departments with no ulterior motive; we helped establish new metrics and KPIs for the entire company.
Other weeks, I’d feel uneasy about the overall direction of the company and the wishy-washy nature of our interim CEO. Our company’s finances stunk and everyone knew it, and that led to additional worry about having to let high-performing members of my team go to cut costs.
I knew it wasn’t a long-term employment solution.
Change was constant. Consultants roamed the halls. There was vicious backbiting. There were turf wars. One C-level leader routinely and consciously consorted to undermine others. It was a toxic environment.
I lost sleep. I lost weight. I didn’t treat my family as well as I should have.
Though I realize hindsight is 20/20, I should have seen all of it coming. Nevertheless I was blinded, despite years of career experience and experience witnessing layoffs.
Losing that position was a blessing in disguise, though I didn’t think so then. I was caught off-guard and unprepared financially.
I was ultimately saved by a side project
…along with a lot of hustle. And a lot of prayer!
For me the way it started was this: I had an idea for a side project a few months before exiting that role, but I never had time to flesh it all out and launch.
Let me rephrase that, because it’s important: I never made the time to fully develop my idea, let alone design and launch it. I purchased a .com and left it at that.
With the layoff, I went full-tilt into job search mode, leveraging my network as heavily as I could, while gratefully accepting recommendations and referrals from friends, and cold emailing numerous people.
I burned through my savings at an alarming rate. It was stressful.
But I also worked on this side project.
That project led to a consulting gig. Then advertising at my website. Then more sponsors and consulting clients. Then some small-scale affiliate deals. Then a podcast with unsolicited, incoming sponsorship offers. Then a contract gig with a pivoting startup.
Ultimately, my lessons learned led to a full-time gig that I could excel at, all while maintaining this personal marketing platform.
My platform produced crucial income for my family.
It was a single website at NextRestaurants.com.
You need a Plan B more than ever
Maybe you’re here because something is telling you that you need an additional income stream.
Maybe you’re here because you want to develop your own personal brand or personal marketing platform.
I want to help you turn your talents, skills, knowledge, and experience into a personal marketing platform that not only leverages the wisdom and expertise you already have, but your opinions and worldviews as well.
You won’t spend significant sums of money or sacrifice your dignity, reputation, or credibility in doing this.
You also won’t put your company at risk. That’s the hidden gem here.
You won’t have to publish videos of yourself walking across the beach talking about a “lifestyle business” or anything embarrassing or out of character.
You’ll add a noble and honorable additional income stream through this personal marketing side project.
And you’ll do it without adding a whole new layer of stress of the technology.
About me, personally
We’re the parents of four boys and one daughter. Many people, picking their jaws up off the floor after hearing we’ve got five kids in total, ask, “So which is it, Catholic or Mormon?” It’s the latter. That’s five children we’ve unleashed on the world. We love them and don’t know what life would be like without them. They’re always battlers, often headstrong, definitely opinionated, constantly funny, and sometimes even moody.
Have your people contact my people.
But you know, whatever. ooxxooXoXXx (Hug hug, kiss kiss, hug hug, big kiss, little hug, kiss kiss, little kiss.)
Now that it’s all said and done and I’ve sold the website I started as a little side project, I can attribute $38,000 directly to my publication and $265,000+ indirectly over the course of three years.