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  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Full Time for ELEVEN YEARS!!! (as of 3/15/11)
    Five years ago today (about ten months after starting my site), I left my job and went full time in affiliate marketing. It's been a fabulous five years! There have been ups and downs, and affiliate marketing has changed a lot during that time. I wouldn't trade a minute of it for a J-O-B.

    Five years is a major milestone, as over 80% of businesses (both online and offline) go bankrupt within five years.

    I know that many of you are trying to get to the point where you can do this full time, and I just want to encourage you. You can do it too!

    Over the past five years, there have been many highlights. I convinced my wife to quit her job a couple months after I did. We built our dream home. We've taken more vacations than most people (except Chris) take in a lifetime. We had our son almost two years ago and have both been able to be home and not miss a thing. We have a second baby on the way! I've been able to put far more into an SEP IRA than I was ever able to put into 401ks and IRAs in my 12 years of working for other people.

    Affiliate marketing is awesome!
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  2. #2
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    Michael -- thanks for the encouraging words and all the sharing of experience that you do around here!

    - Tim
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Congratulations Michael! I'm sure you'll have many more profitable years ahead of you.

  4. #4
    15 years and counting
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    Congrats, Michael, it's awesome indeed.
    I agree five years is a major milestone. You must have been doing something right to still enjoy it. I left a high paying position in the aerospace industry 5 years ago to do affiliate marketing full time (Really full time golf, part time affiliate marketing). I was able to retire at 50, not bad.
    I started my first affiliate web site 10 years ago with what's now, Microsoft bCentral, ex linkexchange.com.... 3 years later I was making more than 10 times my salary.
    I must have been lucky, very lucky, to hit it so big with no real work and no planning.

    I'm not sure I want to encourage new people to quit their job. Not for fear of competition, it's already there, but because I'm not sure they will be able to make it. It's a risky business, now. If they are out of a job, go for it, I'm sure there's still some opportunities left, but I'm afraid it's not going to be only fun anymore but work, work, work. The golden days are over.

    I hope, like Kellie, we'll all have many more profitable years ahead of us.

  5. #5
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    Congrats on the baby-on-the-way and living the AM dream!

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone!

    I agree with Zeus. I wouldn't recommend that people quit their jobs before they're financially ready (including enough reserves to make it through any down times--because they will happen), but I also know that going full time is the goal of many in affiliate marketing.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    Congrats Michael. Had my 3 year anniversary with this a couple of months ago. Looking forward to more.

    "Affiliate marketing is awesome!" I agree

  8. #8
    mega crap martyogelvie's Avatar
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    Michael,
    you rock dude!

    10 months is an amazingly short amount of time for some of us (me) to imagine. I been doing this longer (much longer) and I don't see full time in my future, well I do see it in my future just not immediate future.

    If you had one piece of advice, one crucial element or key to success that you could give to some of us struggling to reach the top (full time AM) what would it be?

    The challenge is NOT to WIMP OUT and say something like 'work harder'.

    Regardless, you rock dude!

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    Michael, Congratulations! You are living my dream!

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyogelvie
    If you had one piece of advice, one crucial element or key to success that you could give to some of us struggling to reach the top (full time AM) what would it be? The challenge is NOT to WIMP OUT and say something like 'work harder'.
    Keep your focus on both the customer and profitability.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Michael:

    Hats off on a major accomplishment!

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Michael and congrats on the new one on the way I've been fortunate enough (I think I have anyways) to be enabled to be self employed for close to 20 years now. No doubt the best thing about it is being around the kids and being able to catch almost all of the activities they have had in their lives. Lots of ups and downs also along the way. Even with all the downs I wouldn't trade it for the world.

    Congrats Michael and Zeus and continued success

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Seven years and counting now!
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Seven years now for me too. I don't remember exact dates, but I do clearly remember leaving my last job fairly early in 2000, knowing "this is it... Next stop's either success without empl*yers, or Cardboard Box Avenue!"

    Here's to an eternity more of lucrative nonempl*yment for both of us (and any other free people reading)!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Happy Affiliate Anniversary Michael!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  16. #16
    Full Member Crocket's Avatar
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    Congrats, its all down hill now.

    Five years ago....sigh I was Five years younger lol

  17. #17
    Full Member
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    Congratulations on the Anniversary, Michael! Not just the succes, but on sharing many of your thoughts in the community. Many more to you!

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager David Carter's Avatar
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    Michael,

    This is what you were meant to do. You are truly a fantastic thinker and a tremendously hard worker, we are lucky to have you as an affiliate and partner with our program! I feel sorry for the employer that lost you when you quit your J-O-B but we have certainly gained from his loss. We wish you much continued success!
    David Carter
    MagazinesQuick.com

  19. #19
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Happy Anniversary!
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  20. #20
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Wahoo! Year Seven! I hit also hit my 7th anniversary back in September. Fun, huh? I can't ever imagine working a real job again. Congratulations to you and your family, you deserve the best )

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    Congratulations to everyone who has not only "made it" but who makes it a point to help the rest of us with good advice and inspiration. I have learned so much from all of you, but Michael in particular as he shares his hard-won insight into what works and what doesn't.

    Everyone who manages to keep their focus and grow their business past the first few years deserves a big round of applause!

  22. #22
    15 years and counting
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    I saw more changes in these last two years than in the 5 previous years.
    Glad to know you're still doing good, Michael. Couponers have their own predators, now. I'm still doing great, still enjoying free traffic from Google but it's not as much fun as before and I've less and less time to play golf. I had to change my business model one more time to concentrate on my money makers. It's becoming a risky business. Will you still recommend new affiliates to quit their day job?

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    A business that allows parents to be involved in their childrens lives on a more interactive basis is worth the effort! Congratulations Michael.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  24. #24
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Happy 7th Anniversary, Michael!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    ...It's becoming a risky business. Will you still recommend new affiliates to quit their day job?
    This is is a very good question deserving a thread of its own.

    Geno

  25. #25
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    Congratulations Michael on an awesome accomplishment!

    I don't think I ever would have had the guts to take the leap but I was pushed into it when we moved to a rural area where job opportunities are slim and Walmart! lol!

    Isn't it lovely to work at home in your PJs, make your own schedule and not have to answer to anyone but yourself?

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