A Journey From Employee to Media Company

Last Update: December 07, 2018

A long time since my last post. I'd like to share what's been happening since then, to show you how I used the skills I learned at WA in a completely different way than expected.

Some time ago I wrote a training guide, creating a roadmap to applying what you learn at Wealthy Affiliate to become your own boss. Since then, my path diverged from that of most affiliate marketers and led to some results I had never expected when I first joined WA.

This is how I went from being an employee to owning a small but profitable media company. I hope you enjoy.

Humble Beginnings

My background was in retail sales, then B2B sales and account management, but my passion was brewing beer. In my late 20s I was pretty much "checked out" of my work, but still good enough at it that I was unlikely to get fired. Just going through the motions and producing enough results to keep getting paid. I took a weekend job in a home brewing store and spent my sick days and holiday time volunteering at local breweries. I was ready to hang up my suit.

I eventually took on a brewing job at severely reduced pay. I learned a lot, but I needed to earn more. I wanted to start a brewing franchise, but I was earning minimum wage. I had to rejoin the white collar workforce.

2014 - Taking Steps

I knew a lot about brewing but I wanted to learn about business. I took on a job with a media company as a Business Development Manager (a fancy name for a B2B salesperson) specialising in Franchise related media. This led to some interesting developments - I accidentally learned a great deal about digital marketing along the way, and I enfded up starting a tiny business.

It was time to break out again. I wanted to go to Japan. I got a tourist visa and negotiated a deal with my boss: I don't take a salary, but I operate as a micro-business, and invoice them for a nice healthy cut of all sales I bring in. Perfect!

Except that it wasn't perfect. When you are an employee, you have a whole lot of procedures in place, and these procedures protect you from the business world. I was effectively still an employee, even though I operated as a business. Except that I was invoicing and had no salary - my monthly invoices were unstable. Some high, many low. Not to mention, I was now at the mercy of the accounts department - there were times when I didn't receive payment for 3 months in a row!

2015 - This Has to Change

I was making money for the company, bt I wasn't getting paid regularly. I needed income. I remembered in my early 20s I had seen some success selling online, which I stopped after the headaches outweighed my results. But I had no capital to invest, I was going to have to drop ship. I started researching how I could exeed previous results.

That's how I learned about affiliate marketing. Unfortunately, everyone giving advice appeared to be an MLM or a scam! But, with a little more research, I found Wealthy Affiliate. Let me tell you, the number of affiliate sites promoting them really made me suspicious! Nevertheless, a free trial is still free. What did I have to lose?

In late 2015 I went through the initial training in just a few days and signed up for premium membership. My first website was all about brewing and beer. Unfortunately, this meant I wasn't focusing on my sales, so income dropped that month. I had to change my schedule: 5 hours of sales, then nothing but training and content marketing. By the end of 2015, I had a fully functioning website, getting traffic.

2016 - Take Off

In early 2016, I was doing great on traffic but no sales. At the same time, I had been offered an amazing opportunity overseas, but I'd been burned before. Time to make some choices. I returned to my home country to fire my boss.

First, I needed to be financially secure. With my previous sales and newfound digital marketing experience, armed with the tools I'd developed at WA, I hired myself out as a freelancer. SEO, content, marketing, sales... I found some good gigs, some bad. I spent 3 hours a day on freelance jobs, which replaced the income of my previous "client" (employer). It was also at this time that my first website became profitable.

Just as I fired my boss, I landed a freelance client that was an excellent fit. They came from a very similar marketing background and we just clicked. It developed into a permanent arrangement, taking a maximum of 3 hours per day, with unlimited earning potential and guaranteed base income.

I accepted the overseas offer and kept my new client.

2017 - The Grind

At the start of 2017 things were going well with my business overseas and my "digital nomad" business running side by side, but I had to drop other freelance clients and stop working on my websites. THere were plenty of challenges too: Financial, personal, logistical and time-based problems. Nonetheless, I was my own master and felt good about it.

Local business rose and fell over and over again, but my online income saw me through all of it.

2018 - It Falls Apart, It Comes Together

2018 was a rough year. Projects failed, businesses failed and even my major client decided to sell up their company. We had been working together for around 3 years now, so I was saddened by this news. But this got me to thinking.

I already knew the business had revenue, because I was making it for them. I knew their niche, their clients, their operation - I could pretty much run the company if I had to. So why didn't I?

In October we formed and agreement and we signed in November. There have been far more challenges than I was expecting, but it's amazing. I have a business partner on board with me, plus a writer and a web developer and instand customer base.


As 2019 draws near, I am very excited about the future of this small company. Currently we operate as a very trusted and well-known news source within our niche and we charge companies for sponsorship and advertising rights. We have plans to add revenue streams, all from different forms of advertising. We also plan to automate and outsource as much work as possible as we progress so that we can continue to add to the company.

All of this was possible because I took a chance, learned some skills, gained some tools and trusted my online income. All of this was possible because of what I learned at WA.

Oh, and because I'm very, very lucky.


-R Kingsley

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FKelso Premium
What an inspiring story. You have done a lot, experienced a lot, and come out doing just fine. Hope your future enfolds in a great way.
RKingsley Premium
Thank you! There are a whole bunch of new challenges that come with the territory. I'm thinking about how best to share the experience for others to learn from, but I need to be careful not to give bad advice!
Floria Premium
You didnt give up, that is why you are lucky. :)
RKingsley Premium
That was a no-brainer! Once I had been working for myself for a while, I realised that I'd rather have just enough income to live on and be my own boss than to work for someone full-time and have more money.

The tenacity to keep driving business is simply a case of not wanting to rejoin the traditional workforce. Business is harder, but worth it. You have to maintain a minimum standard for basic income and set goals. As you hit your goals, raise your minimum standard and set new goals!
Floria Premium
I fully agree. It is really worth it. :)

It is an Advantage for young ones as well, as they have more time to build resources for rainy days :)

At a certain point in our lives, specially when health issues knocks on our door, we are forced to a halt. The will is stronger. But the physical part sets the limitations.

Creativity and flexibility combined with faith gets us all through.
RKingsley Premium
Well, I'm not so young anymore, but in my mid-30s I feel like I'm in the sweet spot of having experience but still being able to absorb new information.

I have trouble putting faith in others (one reason why I'm not so keen on traditional employment) and I don't have faith in any specific higher power, but I do seem to keep on going, which must be a sign of SOME kind of faith!

Perhaps I should do some introspection and explore the idea of faith further. Thanks Floria!
Floria Premium
Introspection slowly creeps when we are alone and crisis hits us. so I don't think too much about it :) either. When it comes, just open a window for it.

Faith i think in your description is trust? ...and faith in my own understanding is just doing what is necessary for the moment and trust the universe that it will be positive ..We can cry later :) If not, we just carry through because i think no matter what we do, how hard we try, sometimes there are stories that don't have a happy ending.

It is a wonderful place here in WA ...Let's keep going Kingsley..we are all in the same boat :)
DebbieRose Premium
Opportunities are endless if are prepared with the proper skills...many of which we can develop here at WA. We just have to be willing to walk through the doors that ooen. Glad it is all working out for you. Continued success in the new year.
RKingsley Premium
Thank you Debbie!
davehayes Premium
You and me, ditto, and its not all luck, but well chosen and honed skills, which are great to have, well done and good luck with the journey
RKingsley Premium
Thank you Dave! Did you end up with a similar business model?
davehayes Premium
Yes and currently still working on it and applying it,it's very rewarding
RKingsley Premium
That's so good to hear! If you need a hand with any details let me know, likewise if you have any advice for me :)
davehayes Premium
Will do my friend. One thing I will say is that it is not as scary as it looks from the outset and certainly very enjoyable, applying the skillsets learned here as you point out in your post

What my plan is, is to create a website funnel, using the site rubix free websites, linking them into the media and training parts of myhsoted sites, to provide a showcase of sites

BUT, as you say, really good fun and certainly NOT possible without WA and the training on offer

Makes the BF deal, seem like a squidgy no brainer now!!
Vickic3 Premium
what an amazing rollercoaster for you Jesse and well done with your business deal.
A true Entrepreneur - Awesome !!!
All the best building this empire and I know by all I have read you are going to be a huge success and I hope 2019 is your Year
Go well
RKingsley Premium
Thank you Vicki! It really does remind me of something a friend once said:

To be successful, acquire tools and become good at using them