A few days ago I passed the 3 year mark at Wealthy Affiliate, and I was planning to do a standard "What I learned this year" post.

However, I also owe the community a "How I got here" type post as a thank you for their help getting me featured on Entrepreneur.com, but that's going to be beyond the scope of a single blog post, so I'm going to make that as a training, and keep this one short (ish)

Fast Cars Go Quickly, Businesses Don't

Supercars always brag about how fast they can go from 0 to 60. It's usually something like oh I dunno...10 seconds. Is that fast? Sounds fast anyway.

With a business...3 years to get from $0 to anything sounds pretty slow, but that doesn't make it any less attractive, at least not to me.

Last month (July) I passed $10,000 for the month for the first time ever. I'm roughly on course to repeat that feat again in August, so I can at least feel like it's stable.

Some people might look at that and think "Wow, I want $10,000 a month!" but may be put off by the fact it took three years.

Others will think it's fine, afterall, three years is nothing in exchange for financial freedom.

What if I told you that this time last year I was barely making $2,000 a month? In fact, it took me over 1.5 years to make $1,000 a month.

At the start of 2015, I probably only had $1,000 in savings as well (I did invest a lot of my earnings back into the business), but about 30 minutes ago, I paid off the remainder of my Student Loan debt in one fell swoop (It was about $10k remaining). So far this year I also bought an engagement ring (got engaged in March), flew back home to the UK, flew to Thailand, bought a Macbook Pro and still have some money to spare. This isn't to brag, it's just to show how quickly things can take off. I had pretty much been broke from 2010 until now.

Basically, in a very short time, things have taken off for me and those 2 and a half years of sweat and hard work are paying off and then some.

I guess a business is less like a sports car and more like a Rolls Royce. It might not accelerate quickly, but it cruises like a beast.

Don't Worry About How Long It's Taking

Seriously. Who cares how long it takes? As long as you can keep going, and get through the burnouts, you'll reach some level of success.

Burnouts WILL come. Those days when you wake up in the morning and feel so depressed you don't want to log in to WA.

Days when your affiliate commissions seem to be stuck on zero. Is the dial broken or is it just a bit cold out here in the internet?

What you need to do is think to yourself the following:

If I keep at this, I will succeed sooner or later.

Things Click And Then They Fire

Click. Bang.

I once saw Labman say something along the lines of:

"First you are unconsciously incompetent". You are a beginner, you're useless (no offence) and you don't even know why.

"Next you are consciously incompetent". You're still a bit useless but you know what you need to do and learn. Woop.

"Then you are consciously competent". You're doing the right things and you know roughly why. Keep doing this, this is good.

"Finally you are unconsciously competent", basically you got the Midas touch and there's a lot of gold floating around.

Does this make sense? As you learn more and go through the stages, stuff gets a lot easier, and when it clicks for you (and it WILL), boy does it click.

It's A Steep Curve

Here's a rough breakdown (I'm doing this from my anal retentive memory so some things may be slightly off) of how much I earned since January 2013. The point of this is to show you how steep the learning curve is, and how steep the income suddenly goes up.

I didn't include the end of 2012 because I was basically a noobie doobie and any money I made was flukey wukey.

Jan 13: $50

Feb: $50

March: $100

April: $120

May: $200

June: $300

July: $450

August: $700

September: $600

October: $650

November: $750

December: $750

I started to get worried towards the end of 2013 that I had worked sooo long and kind of slowed down and stopped earning. I started HumanProofDesigns in August and it didn't really turn into the business I had hoped until much later.

Jan 14: $650

Feb: $500

March: $800

April: $900

May: $1,000 WOOOO

June: $$1,100 ish

July: $1000

August: $2,100

September: $2,500

Octoboer: $2,000

November: $2,700

December: $1,500

December had been pretty disappointing because it turns out people don't want to buy websites in December, so I finished the year happy with my progress, but worried that I had reached a plateau. I was also annoyed that I didn't hit my target of $3k a month.

Things were about to change...

January 15: $4,500

February 15: $3,500 (my lowest month in 2015 would have seemed amazing in 2014)

March: $6,500

April: $5,000

May: $5,500

June: $8,500

July: $10,000+

August: ???

Do you see what I mean when I say it accelerates quickly once things get going?

I do keep planning to write a long training post explaining some of the things that got me here and what made the difference to my business, and I have got it saved as a draft somewhere, but I feel like it needs to be so epic, I drag my feet about writing it!

So for now, I'll just sprinkle some inspiration your way :)

Thanks WA, good times.

Edit: Here's the follow-up post I talked about. https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/domw/blog/the-story-of-how-networking-with-others-led-directly-to-my-success



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Anna237 Premium
I'm sooooo following you !!!! I'll be stalking through your blogs searching for insights into your epic journey of progression ..

"First you are unconsciously incompetent". You are a beginner, you're useless (no offence) and you don't even know why.

"Next you are consciously incompetent". You're still a bit useless but you know what you need to do and learn. Woop.

"Then you are consciously competent". You're doing the right things and you know roughly why. Keep doing this, this is good.

"Finally you are unconsciously competent", basically you got the Midas touch and there's a lot of gold floating around.

Congratulations you have reached the final phase. Unconscience competetence, this must be the guru's like yourself who simply make it look so easy, like you don't have to think about making things work too much any more, its second nature. I'm sure there's plenty more still to learn for you and that must make you feel Consciously Alive!

Thanks for sharing

Anna
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Tegonza Premium
Dom, this is a great article and I really appreciate your transparency with the monthly numbers. It's a great reference people can use to visualize what one's progression can potentially look like.

I love your follow up post because I think it touches on something that for many people is a barrier--you know, the fear of reaching out when your right in the face of things that are uncertain.

Have you considered mapping specific actions you took or tools you implemented or tweaks that you made alongside your income timeline that might shed some light on how those things impacted your build-up of business over time?
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DMPenman Premium
You sir are an inspiration. As a family man I've often dream of giving my Partner and Son the life I know they deserve.
Money making has always been an incentive for me but now with a family it is for their sake, not mine.
Thank you for this post, from the bottom of my heart.
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MariaLP Premium
Thank you so much for writing this! I have only just started last month, putting in pretty much every waking hour and am actually excited to be on page 2 for a couple of things, but when I started I gave myself one, two and three year goals, and oddly enough my hopes/expectations sort of match what happened to you...so you've given me renewed hope! Congratulations and much future success!
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CraigW315 Premium
Thanks so much for this post.

I am trying not to think about the money at all at this point. I'm a couple of months in and not really going as fast as I'd like, but managing to plod along at my own pace. I KNOW that success will come in time, but it is a bit difficult to be patient when those around you have no faith in you and your bank account is emptying out.

I'll stay the course and one day be writing my own version of this post, but I do hope it comes a little bit sooner than 3 years, if only to relieve some of the pressure.
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iPhoneGirl Premium
Negativity from others can be a killer. If you keep at this, success WILL come. Other people are doing it, so you know it's possible. I've heard that most people give up right before things are about to change. Remember to reach out and ask for help if you're stuck. Even try to get some personal feedback on your site and setup if possible. Don't give up. Keep at it and it will happen.
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CraigW315 Premium
I really don't want to be the guy who stops just short of succeeding. As you said, though, negativity is a killer. It's hard to be doing this solo, without even being able to discuss it with family or friends, but I'm not giving up.
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iPhoneGirl Premium
Well I will help in any way I can! I've had to tell people around me that negativity simply can't be a part of any endeavor. There are downsides to EVERY business, you just have to choose one you can stick through the hard times with. I would recommend you try to find a small support group here to surround yourself with. Grant Cardone is also a great sales/motivational person to follow online. If you're really down about it maybe give yourself a set amount of time to take a breather - a few days or something - and read some motivational articles. Remember all the reasons you started this. It WILL payoff if you stick with it!
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Incredible!

It's easy for me to get down on myself from a financial aspect because I'm lively from an engaging, physical interaction. Positive in nature, try to be there for others for advice. My finances don't reflect my life attitude. And you scratch your head, ONLY, if you keep it to head scratching.

I love that you were/are resilient brother. Most definitely I look up to those like you and admire your story.
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DomW Premium
Hey everyone. What a response this post has had over the years. I've finally done my outreach post:
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derekmarshal Premium
That is actually a great Post Dom, outreach training and how, and where to find possible outreach partners would make great training.

I found a bunch from SimilarSites.com
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Hani Premium
Hi Dom, you got to this from hard work and you deserve it! Well done. My question is......the money you made was from actually taking a different direction and selling ready made websites right? So it is not technically affiliate marketing (classical, like they teach here), right? I would just like to know if it's possible to get to these figures simply by affiliate marketing and writing content etc., or if I should also look to do something a little 'out of the box'? Thanks in advance for your feedback.
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DomW Premium
Plenty of people do well from affiliate marketing, but you can always use it as a stepping stone like I did.
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Hani Premium
OK Thanks mate!
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Crittercraft Premium
From what I've seen, first you have to put in the hard work without the rewards. Then you start earning a little bit, then you start earning a little and now you hit a trend where it simply starts growing up and up and up!
For most people the tricky part is getting past that first stage.
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littlemama Premium
This post is awesome for someone new here on WA! This is what I wanted to see!! I can't wait to read your post about the pieces that made your business click at certain points, and what and how it made you go from one level to the next!! Please finish it soon!! :) THANK YOU for your post!!!
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Will1986 Premium
Hey Dom, great post I don't think 3 years is that long to start making good money in a business.

My brother owns a solar company and has been trying to turn a good profit for 6 years now, sure the company has a million in revenue or more a year but all that money goes away once you pay rent insurance and other expenses.

He is almost like a banker that gets a ton of money but none of it is his.

Anyway an online business is so much nicer because the expenses are so low when you compare the two.
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Me4TheWin Premium
First, congratulations on sticking with it! It clearly didn't happen overnight, but you hung in there. Second, congrats on all your successes, personal and financial. It's got to feel great to have it all coming together! Finally, thank you for the much-needed encouragement. It's good to see some numbers for a change, too, to get an idea of what "longhaul" really means.

All the best to you,
Deedee
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ITBraveHeart Premium
Hi Dom, well done on your success! i have been reading about other 'successful affiliate marketers that end up moving to big offices and then after a few years come back to basics and are earning more than they did in the heydey. Is it just you on your own that is generating this amount of income? I hope its not too personal a question, I'm just trying to gauge if it is possible for one man?
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DomW Premium
Well I'm the "boss" as such, but I have a team to help me fulfil orders. Most of my income comes from HPD, which is a service business, so I have 3 other managers under me who manage writers, build sites, assign work to assistants etc. When I first started it was just me, but as demand for services increased, I had to bring on outside help.
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CamGrah86 Premium
Hey DomW, this is an amazing story. This is an amazing thread.

Keep the dream alive! I can't wait to get to where you are at. The funny thing is affiliate marketing doesn't seem like work. It is a lot of fun writing blogs and working on site design etc.. :D
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RKiuttu Premium
Great motivational text!!!

If I'm being honest I'm sometimes a bit frustrated that I have been in WA about 5 months I haven't made even a single $. It would be a wonderful motivational boost to make a first sale. I will work for that every day that I'll get it and stop complaining! ;)
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ChrisGooden Premium
See where you are on your flight path here
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RKiuttu Premium
thank you! :)
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wherewithal Premium
DomW,
I just signed up with WA on 12/26/15. I feel your experience could be of great value to me and others. My question is, how am I ever going to read and benefit from you, "how I got here" blog if you don't finish it and post it. Could you please let me know when it is posted?
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ChrisGooden Premium
Click the "Follow" button under his profile pic and you get notified about his updates.
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Polycount Premium
So is this common practice? Constant site turnover? No offense to anyone, but it's very time consuming and expensive obtaining a logo for the site, building really great articles and other forms of content. I mean, the site won't even pay for my WA membership until several months later, add that to the price of buying new domain names, phew. I'm not too worried about the time, I'm just worried about whether this is common and expected - I thought I'd just need to make one site and really focus all my efforts and passion into it. Can I do that and still make the kind of money some have you have, a couple years down the line?
Any input from anyone who has done this?
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EKautz Premium
No one can answer that for certain, however it is certainly not an impossibility that you make money with your one and only site.

If you need anything let me know.

ROCK ON!
E
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DomW Premium
Well, if you build a site and later you feel it's not working, do you a.) Keep on going in the hope that it works because you don't want to start again or b.) Start again, doing better than you did the previous time because of how much you learned?

You can get a free logo or a basic logo for $5, and a domain name for $10. It's really not an issue. Most people don't even bother with a logo until they know their site is going to work.

Lot's of people succeed with their first site, I personally enjoy starting something new and always bounced around in my first few months. I've only ever really worked on about 4 or 5 sites. The first two were a flop, the next two earned me a lot of money. You get to experiment with a site that might make you thousands and thousands of dollars (Or hundreds of thousands) and it only costs you about $250 to find out.
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Polycount Premium
Thanks for the response, Dom! I hope I didn't come across as rude or offensive.
As a full-time student (And will be for the next couple years) it's unfortunately a little unrealistic for me to shell out $250 to find out, although you're absolutely right in saying it's worth it. It's just that in my current situation, it's a bit unrealistic, so I was just wondering how common it is to start again, or sell sites frequently.

Again, thanks!
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DomW Premium
I guess I'd say fairly common, but not definitely something that will happen
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EKautz Premium
I paid nearly 100k for college and there job market is horrible - no job no pay. A few hundred bucks for WA is well worth the cost compared to what you get - and it is immediately useful. Building a business will always be a risk no mater where or how you do it. :-)

ROCK ON!
E
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clemz Premium
Bro, I give you a thumb up, you are a man with a big heart-we all need that piece of big heart to make real progress. thanks for sharing, you have no ideal what this post has done to some one.
Hope to one day share an inspiring post like this.
Clams.
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kirby34 Premium
I agree...it's very inspirational isn't it
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clemz Premium
Of course its not only inspiring, but also soul-lifting. Post like this have a way of catapulting ones belief, you know that soon it will be pay-day, and so you just have to keep going even when the going gets tough.
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DTurnbull Premium
That is hugely inspiring to read, and MASSIVE congratulations — what persistence you have. I hope I can find the same resolve in me. You show that it can be done. I would absolutely love to read your account of how you did it when the time is right to finish it. Amazing stuff and I feel glad for you!!!
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JamesGoolsby Premium
DomW,

Thanks for that. While most of us "know" that WA is the real deal and believe it the process, it is awesome to see it laid out like this. I have similar goals, and to see the exponential growth potential is awesome. You have outlined reality... hard work and a slow start, but a major payoff for the effort in the end. Very motivating, my friend.

Here's to your continued success.

James
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TonyDW Premium
I was about to quit and i have just started. With life getting in the way and me not getting to do what i have to on WA i felt that i am wasting my time and money. For me a $1000 would make a huge difference not to mention $10000.. Thank you for this post, just what i needed today.
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TimKerslake Premium
Just hang on in there man, it's gonna take time but if you allow yourself the time you need to succeed you will get there!
Life will get in the way sometimes, and that's really okay!
Good luck to you :)
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