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5 SPI Readers Who Recently “Made The Leap” and How They Did It

5 SPI Readers Who Recently “Made The Leap” and How They Did It

By Pat Flynn on

If you’re looking for inspiration to make the leap and jump into entrepreneurship, I hope these concrete examples will give you the dose of inspiration you need to move closer to your 2015 goals this week.

For me… It took getting laid off from my job to finally see the opportunities available to me as an online entrepreneur.

As I will forever repeat:

Getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me.

But… It was also terrifying, scary and painful in the beginning.

That’s why I’d love to recognize five SPI readers today who’ve been proactive in making the leap into entrepreneurship.

There are tens of thousands of success stories in the Smart Passive Income audience and I can’t wait to feature several of you in upcoming episodes of The Smart Passive Income Podcast.

Some of you are just getting started and recently earned your first dollar online, which is huge! I remember the first $1.18 I earned online back in 2008, and it was rocket fuel for everything else that happened later.

And yes, I’ll be conducting interviews from this set of people as well for the podcast.

Some of you are earning hundreds of dollars per month in your side-gig and others are working full-time now thanks to your entrepreneurial endeavors. The SPI audience is truly an amazing action-taking community and I love that about you.

And that’s why I wanted to recognize these people today. Let’s meet five SPI readers (and listeners) who recently made the leap…

Eugene Ting:

  • Website:
  • Description: Client engagement for financial planners.
  • Business Type: SaaS (Software as a Service)
  • Earnings: $1,400/month
  • Other Business Notes: Pre-sold product for $8,000 before it was even created.

EugeneBefore Eugene became CEO of his software company, he was working in an unstable job as a UX (user-experience) Designer for another company and feared being laid off, which gave him the push he needed to start his own business.

Eugene was a listener of The SPI Podcast who took action after hearing Dane Maxwell in Session #46, and then later joining Dane in The Foundation [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.].

Eugene’s story is very similar to Podcast Session #82, where I interviewed Carl Mattiola who quit his job at Tesla after hearing Dane on SPI and joining The Foundation as well.

Here are a few wise words from Eugene:

“One actionable tip is: Use a “buddy system”.  In my business, I found that finding just one person to be a reviewer/mentor/listener has immense benefits.  Just a single someone to look over your shoulder to help guide you back when you are straying is the most helpful.  Preferably someone who is one or a few steps ahead of you…”

Eugene also does freelance work now as well as a UX designer while he continues to grow his SaaS business for financial planners.

Lucas Hall:

  • Website:
  • Description: The ultimate resource for all things related to landlords.
  • Business Type: Informational / Software / Directory
  • Traffic: Over 1.7 million unique visitors per year.
  • Other Business Notes: In 2014, Business/Brand was acquired by after 1 year.

Lucas-1st-House-300x284A long-time fan of SPI, Lucas sent me a kind message at the beginning of the year to thank me for helping him build his business. Of course, he’s the one that took all of the required action, but I’m thankful he gives me some credit for helping him at the start with building an “ultimate resource” site, and then also starting a podcast called “Ask Lucas” to serve his landlord audience.

As a result of what he’s done with, he’s been able to quit his federal contracting job to help landlords nationwide.

David Picciuto:

  • Website:
  • Description: For woodworkers seeking information and inspiration.
  • Business Type: Educational / E-Commerce
  • Traffic: 100,000 Pageviews per month / 73,000 YouTube Subscribers
  • Revenue: $2k-$5k per episode from each sponsor
  • Other Business Notes: Also generated an income from Adsense, Amazon Associates, Audio Podcast and Merchandise.

DavidThis email from David explains it all:

“Pat, I just wanted to say I put in my 30-day notice to my employer of the last 9 years to do my own thing. I’ve been a web developer for a marketing agency in Toledo. My side business is called The Drunken Woodworker and it’s taken off like crazy over the past couple of months. You’ve been a huge inspiration to me and I just wanted to say thanks!”

I’m super thankful for anyone who ties me into how they left their job to pursue their passion, and I’ll definitely be following up with David to get more information on his journey and transformation.

Jennifer Barcelos:

  • Website:
  • Description: Virtual yoga studio software.
  • Business Type: SaaS
  • Monthly Revenue: $2,700/month
  • Other Business Notes: Pre-sold product for $3,600 before it was created.

jenniferJennifer’s virtual yoga studio software makes it incredibly easy for yoga studios to bring their classes and workouts online in a specialized video-based membership platform, which allows the studios to earn passive income in addition to their traditional income.

Before starting her SaaS company, Jennifer was a new mom and she was working to create her own climate justice nonprofit. She was also an experienced teacher at law school and was incubating a soon-to-be nonprofit at the university where she was teaching.

Here are some powerful words directly from Jennifer about her transition:

“I have found success in other areas of my life (professionally, in particular) and I thought… If I can go from essentially a high school drop-out to the Ivy League to becoming a human rights lawyer, I could start my own business. I just needed to be exposed to the right tools and resources. I realized that I had been an entrepreneur my whole life. Up until now, I just hadn’t owned that truth or been focused on building a business. My decision to own that fact, that title “I’m an entrepreneur,” has changed every part of me. And it has given me so much confidence and almost a superhero mindset that makes all of my other work even more powerful. I now know that I can figure anything out that I need to learn. It might not be easy, but it’s possible.”

I love that.

Note: Jennifer is also a graduate of The Foundation, which as you can see, specializes in helping first-time entrepreneurs create specialized software solutions for small businesses starting with no experience. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]

Stephen Palmer:

  • Website:
  • Description: A resource for Irish people visiting and living in Australia.
  • Business Type: Blog / Information Products / Advertising
  • Earnings: $7k-$10k/month

Stephen emailed me with total excitement to tell me that two months prior he left his secure for life 9 to 5 job to pursue his dream of becoming his own boss. He had been working on his side-gig for over a year before he was comfortable taking the leap, although he shared with me that it was a little risky because he was only earning $2.5k per month at the time.

Since leaving, however, he’s been able to 3-4x that income, and his community has grown like mad as well, with tens of thousands of followers spread across a few location-specific Facebook pages in Australia.

Here’s one particular post that he published on his blog that went viral and helped him after he quit his job.

He also shared that during his journey he’s been met with several failures as well, including a forum that didn’t work out on his website.

All he had to say about that was, “Meh”. 🙂

What I Miss About The Corporate World (And What I LOVE About Being An Entrepreneur)

I’ve been doing this online business thing for nearly 7 years now. That’s quite a long time, especially when you consider that I spent about the same amount of time aspiring to become a world-famous architect before I was laid off in 2008.

I often get asked if there’s anything I miss about the world of architecture, and there is.

  • I sometimes miss having co-workers to talk about sports and have lunch with each day.
  • I sometimes miss AutoCAD, as crazy as that may sound.
  • And I miss, of course, the art of architecture itself.

Then there are, of course, things I don’t miss:

  • Corporate red tape and ridiculous, non-productive meetings.
  • AutoCAD. (It was a love/hate relationship)
  • Bland tasting coffee.
  • Office drama.
  • No access to social media websites or personal email accounts during work hours.
  • And working up to 130 hours per week, usually when there was a deadline for a client coming up. (Note: 1 week = 168 hours). You can do the math.

Those are somewhat minor inconveniences compared to the two major aspects of working in the corporate world that blissfully vanished the moment I became an entrepreneur and started working for myself:

  1. The limited amount of income I could earn. What really bothered me was that someone with the same job description as me could work half as hard (and far fewer hours after I was switched from hourly to salary), and earn the exact same as me. Yes, maybe I’d get a better review at the end of the year, but any increase would only be a small percentage, and would often leave me more deflated than excited. As an entrepreneur, there is no “cap” to how much I could potentially earn.
  2. The lack of recognition. I worked hard. Extremely hard. Yes, I was promoted early and I earned a bit more, but there was definitely a lack of recognition for the work I put in. I felt as if people didn’t really understand what exactly I did for them. Things just got done and that was that.

The world of architecture itself is treated like this in general.

For example, try to answer the following questions:

  1. Who designed the building that you’re in right now? Who drafted it?
  2. What about your own home (if you aren’t in it already)—the home that you live in and raise your family in and sleep? Who was the architect?

For 99% of you reading this, you have absolutely no idea.


The moment I became an entrepreneur and started promoting—a website I started to help myself and others pass a difficult exam in the architecture industry—I started being recognized for the work I was doing. When people passed their exams after purchasing my study material, I’d usually get an email from them saying “Thank you, Pat”.

It was such an amazing feeling and a breath of fresh air, and I’m blessed to be able to continue being recognized for the work that I do—not only on that website, but all of the other websites and properties I own online. That includes SPI, and also several of my smaller my niche sites as well.

I’m hoping that no matter where you are at in your online business journey, you can appreciate the fact that the work that you do to as an entrepreneur to help and serve others will be recognized.

And through the problem solving you do as an entrepreneur, you will, as a byproduct, earn more.



P.S. After reading this post, what is one action you’re going to commit to taking to move closer to your 2015 goals? Post below right now and make your action public to the world. We are all here to support each other!

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