This will sound very cliche, but then again any time a proclamation is made it will resonate with people as such.

So without further ado, my lesson for today is below:

“Love what you do, or don’t do it.”

It’s truly the secret from going through the motions on a daily basis and really just gas pedaling to new heights in your career.

Take this exact blog entry – it’s 7:32 on Friday the 13th (insert spooky music here) and I’m blogging.  Why?

1.  The World Cup is on, and I’ve got it in front of me.  As a huge soccer fan, that makes a great Friday night.

2.  Its a downpour in South Florida.  Our pool is about to overflow.  It’s demotivating.  We could be drinking martinis on the beach.

I’m not letting the rain stop me tonight.  In fact, I’m dusting off an old project that I have intended to amplify for quite a while.  That project is launching, a domain purchased several years ago that I intended on making a guide to fine tequilas.Milagro Tequila

I’m still trying to figure out the exact monetization angle for this site.  However, with traffic, and patience, that will come.  For now, I’m focused on getting as many thoughts on paper my laptop as possible before I drink too much Cava de Oro Extra Anejo and can’t recall my reactions to this $99 tequila.

So as I worked on that site, sipped tequila, and reflected on why on Earth I became so enthused about finally getting that site off the ground, I had a moment of clarity.  That moment made me think back of a time when I was grasping for straws at “what to do and how to do it” online.  It was certainly  turning point for me, and eventually, an entire industry.

It was the fall of 2010, and my skin care company had some problems.  We were in legal battles with two companies over what I felt was complete BS.  Most legal battles are just that – BS.  I will spare you the details, but know that we had a brand sprinting along and growing at a great clip before this happened.  In fact, I had moved from Costa Rica to South Florida to amplify the business and really take ownership of being the face of the company.  My brother had moved across coasts from Beverly Hills to help out, and life was good.

Until the process servers started knocking on the door…..

Fast forward to a lot of legal bills later, the suits were still unsettled and driving SkinPro to insolvency.  Lessons were learned, of course, but at that time of my life I was looking for financial freedom and not life lessons.  I had aspirations of settling into my new environment on a more permanent basis by buying a home, but paying lawyers every dollar I made wasn’t getting me to that goal.

I had marveled at the electronic cigarette industry and was in the process of rolling out a brand which is now BullSmoke.  However, the process was long, the wait was unbearable, and the competition was high.  I had zero control (no matter what a lawyer tells you – no case is settled until documents are signed, sealed, and delivered) over our legal battles and it looked to be never ending.  With that in mind, I knew I had to make calculated moves in the newly budding e-cigarette venture.

I had some experience blogging in the industry as an affiliate for other companies. I had learned who the players were and who I had to gun for.  But there was something missing, some level that I hadn’t hit yet, and I wanted to reach it.

I purchased an Apple iMac, and started to toy around with the features.  This was a fun new toy, something I could see myself fully taking advantage of.  After a couple months, I was making highlight reels of our family holidays and just basic stuff that I had captured on film.

It was when I met our manufacturer and obtained samples that I had that “ah-ha” moment.  They had been very generous with samples and told me they wanted my feedback on the product.  I felt that recording a video of myself was the best way to send them my comments, and when they were well received, I was addicted.  I set out to be the “go to” e cigarette review expert, and plastered my videos all over YouTube.  I went under a pseudo name as many people do online, and really aimed to provide fact-filled videos that provided some comic relief.  In one video I even “fake burned” my then three year old son.

As the electronic cigarette industry grew, so did my YouTube channel.  One executive called me “the Godfather of electronic cigarette reviews.”  Certainly one of my all time favorite nicknames and something I openly embraced!  Being a “Godfather” in any budding industry is something I’ll take any day.

The point to my rant is that I stumbled into something I really loved doing.  I’ve never been afraid of the camera (hey I was in a commercial at age 3!) and enjoy filming myself.  I find my quirks and attempt to fix them.  You’d be shocked as to what you can find out if you record yourself trying to promote a product!  It’s really an experience you should do, even if you don’t release the video publicly.  You’ll find the sort of conviction, or lack of it, you have for certain items.  In the process, you may just find something you like to do.

I had my “ah-ha” moment, and since then, I’ve incorporated similar types of marketing campaigns into all of my business ventures.  This new tequila site will be the most fun website I’ve ever launched, and I’ve had some doozies (Nubag comes to mind.)

How to Profit From Your Passion

Here are a few exercises you can do to find out just how you can turn your passion into a profit center.

  1. Write down your daily activities for one month.  Everything.  If you start off with a certain coffee, that’s the first thing you need to write down.
  2. Look for trends and repeated activities.  Start a short list of these items.
  3. Take this list and study it hard.  Look for items you THINK may have search demand online.  Don’t rule out anything yet, however.

With this list, perform the below tasks…

  • Use various searches to find website about the subjects of the activities you’ve identified.  Make a shortlist of the top sites you find amusing.
  • Look to see if they have advertisements on them, affiliate links, or any sponsored content.  These are all ways a site could make money.

For example, if you find yourself drinking coffee three times per day, and you truly enjoy it, make that one of your activities.  Google “best coffee blogs” and find out who is blogging about coffee.  Then, move to step #2 and look for ways they may have monetized their site.

A case study is below.  

Spot me Bro!My friend is REALLY into fitness.  Bodybuilding, eating, proper sleep habits, supplementation, the whole nine yards.  I walked him through the above formula and in our research we found a site doing exactly what he WANTS to do.

That site, the one we identified the one as the leader (because we felt the content was humorous, compelling, and overall we liked the site and everything it gave us) was  Check it out and you’ll find it’s what I call an “Authority site.”  I have no affiliation with that site or the owners, so it’s a serious tip of the cap for me to not only mention them here but also to link to them and call them an “Authority site.”

Now, I don’t know this to be factual, but I’m probably on point with my assumptions of how they make their money:

  1. They have a Store Selling merchandise.  You know you’ve got a good thing when you can sell apparel with your website name on it.  Kudos!
  2. Affiliate programs.  They are aligned with, and I’m sure they do pretty well with their big audience.
  3. The site has enough authority and content that they can easily earn money by serving banners or other CPM or paid insert ads.

In a nutshell, these guys are DOING IT.  They write witty content that really clicks with their target audience on a regular basis and mix in some hilarious video content that really made me laugh.

Without knowing the owners or contributors to the site, I can say with 100% certainty that they are passionate about their site.  It’s far from a job, it’s a way of life.

And that, my friends, is just one of many examples of of how people like YOU are crushing it online and having a lot of fun d0ing it.