Hi, I’m Mike Jacques, If you’re reading this you’re probably feeling that you need to make some serious changes to your life. Perhaps you’ve been very successful at building your career but now you feel there’s something missing. Maybe despite earning a healthy income you’ve become disillusioned with trading all your time for money to pay for the lifestyle you and your family have become accustomed to. It’s likely the pressures of work and the demands on your time have affected your family and social life, that’s assuming you’re lucky enough to have time for a social life. Or maybe, like me, one day you just slowly started to know your heart just wasn’t in this career anymore. You just don’t seem to have the will to continue pouring what’s left of your life into the job you have grown to dislike! So is there really a viable alternative to the 9 to 5, the endless stressful commutes, and the 70 hour week? Can anyone really have a lifestyle that offers true geographical freedom to work from anywhere the world? A job that breaks the traditional time for money work ethic? One that provides a sustainable income that could replace a six-figure corporate pay package? A job that lets you turn your interests and passions into income? Well in a nutshell, yes! I’m living proof of that, and as you will glean from my background below, if I can achieve this, anyone can. It’s not only possible, it’s relatively easy in today’s digital world if you have the right mentorship, knowhow and community to support you and guide you on your journey.
Reality check!However, let me be crystal clear right from the outset before I make this sound like a ‘get rich quick strategy’ it most definitely is not! If you’re looking for me to tell you this type of lifestyle shift can happen in a few weeks, then I’m sorry but that’s not realistic and you’re not going to find what you’re looking from me here. If you do find it, I assure you it’s not going to be real. I’m going to be brutally honest with you and keep this on the level. I’m relatively new to this myself. I’m not a multi-millionaire and I don’t have all the answers yet. I’m still learning every day and thoroughly enjoying my journey. So who am I? And more importantly, how can I help you?
Mike Jacquesis my name and well to be honest, I’m just a very normal sort of guy. I don’t have an academic mind, I dropped out of college after failing to acquire the engineering qualifications needed to pursue my passion to become a commercial diver.
Born in London, in 1965.I grew up on the south coast of England with my younger brother and my parents. At school, I majored in behaving badly and very nearly managed to be expelled before my final exams. I guess I was trying to hide the fact I found learning very boring and to be frank quite difficult. After dropping out of college in my late teens I was working in a small industrial unit making computer plinths and motorbike chain guards. So if you need any welding or fibreglass work done, I’m your man! But somehow, I doubt that’s why you’re here. So at 18 years old, after my illegal AM CB Radio had been booming out over our next-door neighbour’s TV speakers for a few weeks, my neighbour Peter (Area Sales Manager for Rank Xerox) called round. He was so impressed (more likely amused) with my late-night on-air chat up lines, he asked me if I had ever considered a career in sales? Not recognising a gift horse when I saw one, I expressed my doubts about being stuck in an office sat behind a desk all day long. Besides one day I was going to be a North Sea Diver, somehow…? Luckily for me, Peter insisted I give it a try and convinced me to spend a day working with him. After being out and about on the road all day, meeting different customers and ending the day with a long boozy lunch, I decided sales might just be the career for me after all.
Who knew sales was a career!I started working for Peter as a trainee, going door to door cold calling in towns and large industrial estates. It was gutty, walking for many miles each day collecting information on compliment slips and on the back of business cards, while out in all types of weather. As well as learning how to handle constant rejection, I received some of the best sales training in the industry. After less than a year I had my own sales territory to manage and most importantly I had just received a brand spanking new company car. Life surely couldn’t get any better than this! The very same evening my new car was delivered I called my then-girlfriend and we set off for a quick drive in the countryside. Two hours later the car was vertical, nose-down in a drainage ditch, looking like the wreckage of a crashed WW-II fighter plane. So moving quickly on to my next sales job (yes I got fired) and the not so new company car. I quickly became a very successful copier and fax sales rep for Minolta. Eventually, I became Sales Director and then a Managing Director of a Canon office equipment company based in Brighton, UK. My career was moving fast, just like my cars.
Birth of the InternetOffice equipment soon became digital and then network connected to computers. This quickly led me into a very successful 30-year career in the computer software industry. My time in software sales was extremely good to me. My annual earnings quickly reached six figures, with many of my years seeing multiple six-figure incomes. With a very generous expense account and the opportunity to visit most of the world ether training or entertaining customers on business trips. I considered myself blessed and very fortunate, especially considering my lack of any degrees or academic prowess.
Had it all – but it felt like I’d failedIt wasn’t until I was in my late 40’s and rapidly approaching my second divorce that I began to realise I felt unhappy and somehow unfulfilled with my life as a whole. Despite my successful business career, my earnings, my expensive seaside house, the flash cars in the driveway and the jet-set lifestyle, something was missing, I just wasn’t enjoying my work anymore. These negative thoughts made me feel very selfish and to be honest a little guilty. How could I possibly have these type of thoughts when clearly I had it all? I should feel extremely grateful and proud of all my achievements. After all, my Dad was, so shouldn’t I be?
Sold my soul to the DevilFor the first time ever I started to take a real close look at myself and I didn’t like what I saw. The realisation dawned on me, I had actually sold my soul to the devil. My personal life had always come second to my work commitments. My never-ending pursuit of money was necessary to fund my personal life; the one I never actually had any time left for! I finally recognised I was stuck in a vicious loop. It felt like I was running in a never-ending hamster’s wheel. Even on family holidays, I was always sneaking off to answer e-mails or make some business calls; you know the ones that just couldn’t wait. To a large extent, I had missed seeing my children growing up, even when I was at home I was focused on planning my week and meeting my sales targets or working on juggling my mounting financial commitments. Not what I should have been doing, which was actually relaxing and playing with my children. I realised I was a really crap Dad, and probably also a pretty poor excuse for a husband.
The more I earned the deeper the debtThe fact was, however much money I earned, and it was a lot, It was never going to be enough and it was always spent before I was even paid to me anyway. Multiple loans, a huge 3/4 million £ mortgage and my credit card debts were larger than ever before, and I had a constant sense that however hard I worked I was slowly sinking deeper and deeper into debt. All of the rows at home were about money or the amount of time I was travelling or focusing on work. I felt very unappreciated at home and felt I was locked in a never-ending loop of having to invest more time for more money to fund growing debts.
A very dark place indeed!After 20 years the inevitable finally happened. With my second divorce settlement I lost nearly all of the equity in my house, I inherited debts of over £130K, and I gained a new £4k per month child maintenance commitment. All the while, I was having to keep up the mortgage payments of £2k per month, until the house was finally sold a year later, at my expense of course. Then just when you think it can’t get any worse; it did. My now ex-wife gave away our two dogs while I was on a business trip to the US during the separation process. Expletives extracted! Then just one more kick in the nuts, I was diagnosed with recurring skin cancer. Probably brought on by all the stress I was going through. All I had left was my work and my boss although supportive had made it very clear that my work was suffering due to the meltdown in my personal life. At this stage in my life, I couldn’t see any way forward. I won’t go into the thoughts that were running around in my head, but at reaching 50 and losing absolutely everything, I’m sure you can join the dots and imagine what I was contemplating.
The Internet saved my life – twice!It was early 2015, when one of my young techie support guys at work was trying very hard to support me in my hour of need and attempting to lighten my mood, he told me about this amazing new dating app called ‘Tinder’. Dating apps, you mean me dating again and on the internet? You must be bloody joking! Women weren’t that high on my appreciation list as you can well imagine.
Love at first swipe!To cut a long story short, as I’m not in the slightest bit technical, Jason my techie loaded the Tinder dating app onto my mobile phone and set it up. Over the following months, I had lots of fun virtual flirting with ladies online from all over the world. Wow! I was finally harnessing the power and reach of the internet for myself, rather than just selling IT products to run the damn thing! Then, one evening, I unexpectedly saw a picture and profile of the most beautiful lady who for some strange reason was actually interested in me. What was even stranger, she lived in the very same small town where I had first started to succeed in sales! It was love at first swipe! After our first real live date, I finally felt my luck was possibly starting to change for the better. Life suddenly had some meaning again and I had something to look forward to. Christ only knows what she saw in me. I had literally nothing to offer her other than a mountain of legal and financial crap swirling around my life. I was even driving around in my daughters’ beaten up, 15-year-old, rusty Peugeot car with the learner driver plates still on. The car must have been worth all of £100 ish! But luckily for me, I quickly realised for the first time in my life, I had found a woman who had absolutely no care at all for money or guys with flash cars and high opinions of themselves. What a breath of fresh air, exactly what I needed in my life at that point in time, I could hit all these criteria standing on my head. Fast forward a couple of incredibly happy years, I did what I told myself I would never do again. I married that woman. Lisa became my third and final wife and we have a fabulous relationship and life together. The end… No, not quite… Something in me had changed, but I wasn’t sure what it was?
Mojo lost.I never managed to fully get back into my stride at work. I felt like I’d lost momentum and my mojo after the divorce, and I couldn’t get excited about my role any longer. I decided I needed a fresh start. With my track record, head hunters were crawling all over me, stroking my ego and it wasn’t long before I was introduced to a new, exciting startup software company looking for their first sales director to run their European operation. After a few weeks of training in Atlanta USA, I was raring to go and looking forward to building what was in effect was my own business outside of the US, even though I didn’t actually own the company.
My last ever job.My boss, VP of WW sales was a pleasure to work with. We worked hard together to build a scalable business plan for Europe and sales were increasing quarter on quarter. Unfortunately, despite the success and revenue growth, he wasn’t getting the promised investment from the CEO and so he left abruptly for a new Silicon Valley venture. So now reporting directly to the CEO my ego was soaring for a while, but then I began to see why my previous boss had left the company.
Fire the boss!After the CEO had torn down everything I had been working on for the past six months, refused to invest in promised resources to grow the Europen business, and then started to micromanage my time, I quickly became disillusioned with being the highest-paid cold caller in the UK. I’m good at cold calling, I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I also didn’t want to be on mundane, drains up business calls till late into the evening. This was not my idea of a productive or professional working environment. After one particular heated call with my CEO and being told, “it’s my company and I will run it exactly how I see fit” we both agreed it wasn’t going to work and so that was that. More Expletives extracted! So no more £10-15K per month pay cheques, I was redundant, ouch! But happy to be out of the BS and stress.
Time to update CV / Resume – or maybe not…Not at all worried about finding another highly paid IT sales role, I updated my LinkedIn web page to ‘actively looking’ and as expected the head hunter enquires started to come in again as they had done many times before. This time, having time to think, I started to explore this powerful gut feeling of un-fulfilment, the feeling that I was repeating the same mistake over and over again. Changing company or the product I sold wasn’t going to make me feel happy. It might be a lucrative move in the short term, but I was now discovering I had needs other than just keeping the money wheel ever turning. I knew I just didn’t have the energy or willpower to do the same thing yet again. Albert Einstein “the definition of madness is, repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’’
Break the time-for-money hamster wheelSo when looking for ideas, I had a stroke of genius. I was going to become a famous author (Ego again). That idea lasted till the end of my first week of gardening leave and about six pages in… One day, maybe… The following week with more free time on my hands I started exploring alternative home-based business models that might meet the criteria I had in mind for my perfect work/life balance.
- Geographical freedom, work from anywhere in the world
- Low capital investment and no staff required
- No cold calling or face to face selling
- Profit from a genuine interest or passion
- Highly leveraged/automated, low working hours
- Unlimited earning potential – surpassing my previous income
- Ethical and rewarding, giving something back, helping others.