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Sink or Swim? It’s Your Choice

If you believed all of those internet ‘Get Rick Quick’ gurus, you can make a huge amount of money online by cutting corners and only working 10 hours a week. The truth is: these people make the majority of their income from pushing these awful e-books and courses to people who are new to working on the internet.

It can happen, I won’t dispute that. There are countless stories of people who started a website on the subject and at the right time and made a killing, though they are the exception and not the rule. The vast majority of people who make a good living through the internet work hard for their money (I believe most enjoy what they do too).

It is hard to categorize those who are successful. Everyone has their own personality, their own skills and their own working habits. The one thing that all successful people have, whether it be online or elsewhere, is FOCUS. They know where they want to be and they are willing to work hard to get there. It’s what separates people like Onibalusi from those who give up after a few months.

Focus is not something you can learn. You can read all the e-books in the world however if you don’t have the dedication to put all your energy into your website, it is doubtful it will ever become successful.

Focus is also something that can come and go. I first started working online in 2000. I had just finished a degree in Mathematics and Finance and was working in the financial sector. I had made a little money through selling domain names and eventually developed my own website for a domain I couldn’t sell. Looking back, I was incredibly focused. I was like a sponge and was constantly reading how to code better and develop websites. Most days I got home from work around 6.30pm and worked until 1 or 2 am in the morning before having to get up at 7am again for work.

I started making money through the web relatively soon after I started and continued to increase my income to a level where I could quit my job and go self employed (which I did in 2004). During 2004 and 2005 I made a lot of money online. It was both a blessing and a curse. I had got into the gambling niche quite early and managed to make 6 figures in one year. As competition grew it become more difficult to make great money though I continued to make a few thousand a month until this year through old referrals etc.

Getting lost along the way

As I said, my success in the gambling niche was a mixed bag. I was getting a constant stream of money every month so I had less incentive to work hard to develop other projects. I traveled on and off for a few years and enjoyed myself and during that time I realized that I didn’t enjoy my job. I knew lots of methods for making money through this niche but they were painfully boring – directory submissions, constantly emailing for link exchanges etc. As I had passed all my financial qualifications, I had the option of working in London and making 6 figures a year in an office job. It didn’t interest me. Whilst I wanted to be a success, the most important thing was that I enjoyed what I did. Life is short and I didn’t want to spend it doing something I didn’t enjoy.

Thankfully, I found my love for working online again a few years ago through blogging. Many things can drive a person to be focused in what they do and for me it was a combination of enjoying what I did and wanting to be a success. I sold my main blog last year and launched my new blog WordPress Mods a month or so later. Whilst I have worked hard on the site, I never went that extra mile to make it a success.

Again, one reason for this was due to the source of my income. Up until a few months ago a large part of my income still came from gambling referrals from 5 years previous. It was around this time that poker was banned in the USA and the main companies that paid me every month have not sent a payment since. It’s strange but I wasn’t stressed about this, I was actually quite pleased in a way because it gave me the kick up the ass I needed. Since that moment I have been focused 100% on making my site a success.

Sink or Swim?

It’s perhaps a little sad that I only got this motivation to work harder and make my site successful when I was forced into a corner. It was definitely a ‘Sink or Swim’ scenario and I could either let myself get beat up or come out swinging! It wasn’t a hard choice: I knew exactly what I had to do, I just had to go out and do it. Believe me: you can all do it too.

Everyone gets motivated in different ways. For me it was a combination of seeing my income drop and the realization that I hadn’t reached my full potential. Regardless of whether you are motivated by financial necessity, financial security or the aspiration of being the best you can be; if you focus all your energy on achieving your goals you will be a success. I guarantee it. It really is an issue of ‘if’ and not ‘when’ if you let nothing stop you from reaching your goal.

I’d love to hear what motivates you every day. Are you motivated by money, by lifestyle, by success?

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚


Kevin Muldoon is a webmaster and blogger who lives in Central Scotland. His current project is WordPress Mods; a blog which focuses on WordPress Themes, Plugins, Tutorials, News and Modifications.

29 Comments on "Sink or Swim? It’s Your Choice"

  1. Himanshu says:

    awesome post man. really enjoyed reading it

  2. Dharmesh says:

    Nice post. Change and challenge keeps me motivated. I want to explore my full potential and do more things. Not too many, but just more than my regular job (which I am happy with btw).

  3. sokun says:

    My focus is lacking a bit lately because i still haven’t made a sale on clickbank

  4. Kevin – awesome story, man! That must have been a horrible feeling, learning that you would no longer be receiving any payments from the poker companies.

    The fact that you were willing simply dust off and continue on is a true testament to the kind of person it takes to be a successful internet business owner these days. I mean, come on – what were you going to do? GO back and get a job!? please! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I definitely believe that once you have received a taste of living life on your terms and your time frame, there is absolutely no way you can ever go back to trading time for money!

    As you mentioned, there is no such thing as a get rich quick business and if you come across one I would highly encourage those people to run the other way and not look back.

    Building a business and actually succeeding takes a lot of hard work, but usually anything that is worth doing usually does. Not many people are willing to do it and that is great news for other entrepreneurs because you get to work only with those who are serious about building a business, creating lasting change and living a lifestyle that is designed by no one other than themselves.

    I am definitely motivated by the lifestyle, Kevin!

    • Kevin Muldoon says:

      Thanks for the kind words Hector. I do enjoy what I do so I guess in that respect there wasn’t really a choice to be made as I want to continue doing it.

      I guess it’s like any job though. You can feel unmotivated at times, get bored with doing the same thing every day etc. Therefore it’s important to set yourself new challenges and do something that you enjoy doing every day.

  5. Tina @ wedding favors says:

    Nice and inspiring post you got there. I guess the blog owner has so many great friends writing as guests here because he himself is a great writer.

    • Kevin Muldoon says:

      I believe so too ๐Ÿ™‚ I found Onibalusi via one of his guest posts ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thanks Kevin, reading your post makes me want to blog more to earn a living for myself.

  7. symfony says:

    What motivates me now? It is my mortgage and that I need to pay off every month and the idea that I don’t want to lose my flat which I have wanted to buy for so long. I work and work and work and I don’t know if I have enough strength to work. Working about 16 hours a day without any good rest won’t do any good.

  8. Edgar says:

    Great personal story. I know that motivation is probably the most important part of creativity, but i think that people shouldn’t rely on it when hunting for success. I know that in this business it’s rarely to get motivated. I personally try to see videos of personal development or NLP guys just to get a little motivated. But with all the downs this business brings you it will be hard to get motivated. So i think that “Motivation is a luxury we shouldn’t rely on”. I would go with trying to learn the skill of being able to work, produce and focus when i’m not motivated. I know that you can’t get as creative as if you were motivated, but at least you got to do some extra work.

  9. Kevin Muldoon says:

    I don’t see Motivation as a luxury. I see it as the main reason I continue to work hard everyday – even when I am tired, feeling lazy etc. It’s an essential component of being successful.

    I think I get what you are saying though e.g. that you can still do some work without being totally motivated. Though therein lies the difference between those who become successful and those who make a few bucks ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Mark @ TheBitBot Organic SEO & SEM Blog says:

    Wow, Kevin. What a motivational article!

    you asked what motivates us? What motivates me is the opportunity to get out of the 9-5 drudgery.

    I am still in it for the foreseeable future.

    You are an inspiration. I am glad that this article popped up into my inbox.

    Keep writing, brother…;)


    • Kevin Muldoon says:

      Thanks Mark. Glad you liked the article ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Neeraj Rawat says:

    Hey Kevin nice one again @youngprepro this time by you,I was looking for a wordpress blog to follow and I got one from this post

  12. Andrea says:

    Great article Kevin. I’m kind of a novice in the “make money onine world” and I lost so many valuable time trying to find the best product that teach me “the secret road to success”. Now I’m focused and patient, with a new mindset. My main motivation is being my own boss and creating a succesful and stable business.

  13. fazal mayar says:

    awesome post, its with hardwork that we can succeed. The gurus claiming false stuff wont succeed in the long term and are lying to us.

  14. Harrold says:

    Wow your story is great man. You seem to be self motivated man. I usually get motivated by two factors in a combination – an interesting and dynamic job with visible results, and the money I receive for it, which reflects employers’ attitude to my work. Once again, great post. Good luck in future.

  15. DiNaRa says:

    The story itself is very motivating and made me think about my future. I have been working hard recently and made some progress, but at the same time
    I don’t feel satisfied with the results. And I have a choice to sink or to swim and I am still in two minds what to choose and how to look at it.

  16. sibin says:

    Kevin-Thanks for your post.It’s really encouraging post.I like your professionalism.Working time 6.30 to 2 AM.You are a Ideal Professional…

  17. Michael Chibuzor says:

    This is a great post. As bloggers, we have a great choice to make, to sink or swim. well, I’m making a choice today, I want to swim and that is why I put off every distraction like get rich quick schemes. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Kevin Muldoon says:

    Thanks for all the kind words guys. Glad you enjoyed the article ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. manu says:

    Wow your story is great man. You seem to be self motivated man

  20. Cristian Balau says:

    I’m the exact opposite I get motivated when I see my earnings go up! I’ll work harder and stay focus for much longer if I had recently earn a good sum.

  21. Aiko @ Hughes Direct says:

    There should be a fine line between perseverance and reality. What I really mean is, there’s no point in continuing to do link building for a saturated market however, you can try again and find other niche to work on. This is a great insight Kevin, thanks!

  22. youtube geld says:

    Wow if you swinmming and look back.
    and see this tiger, i’m alraidy dead

  23. broccoli soup says:

    I think all those bloggers that have more than two skills are earning a lot through on and off line.To day there is a lot of competition in prominent niches and earning money through is becoming difficult day by day.

  24. Nothing great in life comes for free. Hard work is part of the enjoyment that we get out of a reward. Getting lost along the way helps us grow and helps understand how good it feels to find the correct way. Thanks for sharing this! Love the picture you included!

  25. florinda says:

    It is really a philosopher’s way. I like it. It is really difficult to do the best thing and make the decisions against that like your metaphoric story.

  26. Rug Cleaning Los Angeles says:

    I am trying to so so so hard to swim and not sink- my problem is I have always had a lack of focus (I blame ADD! lol), but of course I can only really attribute most of my failed efforts to lack of motivation or even really trying in the first place. I am the only one who can light fire under my a– (excuse my language). I just find it hard to kickstart myself, especially when I have these doubting voices in my head…but this article was a good motivator. I think I’m ready to grow up.



Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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