My ideal lifestyle cost $2600

Did you know that your ideal lifestyle doesn’t cost a million dollars?

You really REALLY don’t need a lottery win.

My ideal lifestyle – and tust me, I’m pretty sure that I’m living it – cost just $2600 some years back.

That was the amount of money I needed to earn a month from my online business to be able to quit my job (actually to be able to dump my other business but it’s pretty much the same thing).

And it blew my mind. Suddenly I didn’t have to win the lottery or build a complicated, time-consuming internet business. I just needed two and half grand a month.  Yeah I know it might seem like a case of ‘well it might as WELL be a million bucks the way my business is going’ but that’s absolutely not true.

Building an internet business is pretty damn impossible if you look at it as just ONE task. It’s like looking at a pile of sand that you’ve got to move from outside your house to Bill Gate’s front door (probably at the end of a VERY long driveway) with a pair of tweezers.

So don’t even try.

Seriously – just DO NOT try to build your online business like that.

There’s an old joke about an American asking directions in IRELAND. The old Irishman looks at him for a while and then says ‘Well I wouldn’t start from here…..’

And that’s about it. There are already enough people who are happy to make your life difficult so why be one of them?

I tried to build a complete online business – to go full time online in ONE attempt. Well after the tears, the drinking and the anger against all things internet had finished I sat down and tried to work out where I’d gone wrong.

The answer was obvious. Little steps.

I know you’ve heard this before but listen to my take on how it works.

You need your internet business to ‘handle certain things for you’ – ideally monthly payments.

I started with my electricity bill. Wasn’t much – around $80 a month if I remember correctly. My first and ONLY online goal was to pay my monthly gas bill from my online earnings. Took me a while but I did it.

Sure I had another business at the time and could easily afford to pay my eleccy bill while my online earnings paid for a meal out with my wife or kept me in beer but that wasn’t the point.

Once I’d paid my electricity bill for a couple of monthly solely from my online earnings it was the turn of my car insurance. This took less time. Once that was done it was time for a biggie – my mortgage.

You see where I’m going?

Small, easily acheivable goals.

We’ve all heard about writing your goals on a postcard that you keep in your wallet, and repeat to yourself while looking in the mirror 3 times a day – ‘by 12th November of whatever year I will have a brand new Jaguar S-type parked in my drive’

November 12th comes and goes and the only thing in your drive is bird crap and leaves.

It’s not realistic. I think your mind – your subconscious needs proof that you’re putting the work in too. If you can show whatever cauldron of seething anxieties and neuroses you call your subconscious that you’re able to do at least something towards your goals then it’s all too happy to help you out.

If I do a decent launch I expect to see 5 figures from it. Usually this happens. It’s very nice but it’s no big deal anymore because I’m used to it and, well that’s just what happens. But go back some years and the thought of a five figure launch on the internet would be pretty unbelieveable to me by any stretch of the imagination.

And it’s the same with starting out. If you can show yourself that your online business is capable of supporting you in just one TINY area of your life, then you’re going to make an awful lot of money. Because I absolutely, completely believe that it’s harder to make your first $100 online than it is to make your first $100,000

Please try this out. Please.

It works.

Just concentrate your thoughts on paying one tiny bill – monthly ones are best – then work at your business with this in mind. Don’t worry about who is making $1000 a month, or $100,000 a month – they’re not your concern – they’re not coming round for Christmas dinner – it’s YOU and your loved ones that this is about, nobody else – at least not at first.

And get that first little bill paid…..and once you’ve done it, stand back because the flood gates of what’s acheivable online will well and truly OPEN WIDE.

The alternative?

How many hours – no, minutes in the day do you spend worrying whether your boss is happy, comfortable, and OK financially?


Good – because that’s EXACTLY the same amount of time he spends thinking about how YOU’RE doing.

You have to make a start guys because there are strange times ahead. The most financially vulnerable place you can possible be, in terms of work,  is when you’re in ‘steady’ full time employement. Because you pay for your home, your food and your clothing at the whim of someone else. If your boss decides to sell up and move to a hut on the beach he isn’t going to think for a millisecond about you.

But there’s a way out, and you’re looking at it – your computer. You’re not a newbie anymore – you know what I mean when I say ‘affiliate’ or ‘pop-up’ and the chances are you didn’t before you got into IM. Sure you might be JUST above newbie status, but above it you certainly are.

It may not seem like it but you’re actually in a better position than 95% of the people around you, and the fact that you could afford to buy a computer puts you RIGHT at the top of the tree in terms of being lucky, on a worldwide scale.

But don’t give yourself a guilt trip about any of this – you have the right to do what you want with your life and if this involves making obscene amounts of money on the net then get to it! If you feel guilty when you’re polishing your Ferrari give some to charity – Hell – give the CAR to charity if you want, but whatever your second thoughts about Internet Marketing please just give my methods a go.

If you fancy a look inside my online business – which now brings me five figures a month  CLICK HERE

’till next time


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34 responses to “My ideal lifestyle cost $2600

  1. Tony you are so right ! I like what you say and I have spent 2 yrs and hundreds of thousands teaching myself.
    All I have to show for it is inconsistent income from online auctions (which are a pain in the butt). $100 Adsense from 3 little websites in 6 months and bills for all kinds of services like hosting,auto responders, directory submission engines, usfreeads .
    Ok so one web brought in $300 in sales so far but zip from blog farming , zip from lots of other sites etc blah blah blah

    I must be thick because the only income in my clickbank account is my own purchases. My 1500 people list will dissapear if I double opt them in. So where the hell do I start now?

  2. Hey, Tony…

    I am new to GuruScam, your newsletter and Sara’s. So far I find what you both write to be sensible and encouraging and GuruScam will surely grow with like-minded people contributing.

    That said, here is the path I’ve come so far. I have spent the last 2 years, part-time, learning the Internet and Internet Marketing ins and outs. I knew nothing at the beginning except how to use my Word processor and how to surf the Internet.

    Through the learning process I built 15 blogs on Blogger, some You Tube Video sites, and some marketing sites. All are monetized but still a steady income eludes me.

    I do Article Marketing, Blog Directory and Web Directory submissions, Search Engine submissions, blog and ping, OnlyWire, etc.

    Through all of that I have managed to accidentally make a few bucks through affiliate marketing. Based on what I’m spending, I stay about even. This includes being ripped off for a total of about 100-bucks.

    I totally agree with your premise to take small steps but the big questions remain – What is the first step? What is the right business model? What model is most cost effective? etc, etc, etc. The questions are endless.

    There are so many “models” being promoted from the so-called “simple and cheap” to the more “elaborate and costly.”

    What are the balanced and moderately risky models?

    You and Sara, and some of the GuruScam members, seem to have your systems in place that provide for your financial needs. What about those of us still trying to make the utility bills?

    What is step one, two, three, four…….??????

  3. Tony Shepherd


    We had to double opt in a list some years back – lost over half – but the list that remained was stronger and more responsive.

    If you’ve got a high monthly hosting bill and haven’t already switched to a reseller account (you don’t have to resell but can have as many domains as you wish for one fee) then it’s worth doing. i have a few of these but for example host 30 domains (seperate www. addresses) for $60 ish a month).

    Good luck


    PS I doubt very much you’re thick if you can bring in $300 in sales mate!

  4. Hi, Tony,

    Have been reading your stuff for a while. I’ll be pointing some of my folks to this post today, because you’ve offered something here that really matters. This is a doable thing, making a living off the internet, and I like the way you’ve described it. (Also enjoyed your bio, especially the bit about the dead pigeons. Have had some of those myself.)

    Thank you for writing this.

  5. Tony Shepherd

    Hi Jim,

    What are the steps?

    That’s a good question. Different for everyone of course but are there SPECIFIC steps that everyone can take to get started?

    Leave it with me – I promise I’ll do what I can and post it on this blog

  6. Tony Shepherd

    Holly – thanks a lot for taking the time to reply – even more so for your comments.

    It IS HIGHLY doable – making a living from the net – the hard part is realising that, which is why anyone who wants to tell their own story will always get a voice here- nothing beats real-life experiences.



    PS Pigeons eh ggggggrrrrrrrr!

  7. John Bell

    Hi, Tony!!!

    Your and Sara’s outpourings are, as always, an absolute delight to read! I’m a 76 year old flat broke fan of yours who will definitely put ‘Web Building 101’ to use this week. My only problem is: What’s the most economical way to get the damned thing to start generating a small, but positive income stream once it’s positioned out there in the Great Void? There must be many others facing this same question of ‘Which way now?’ Any advice you could offer would be tremendously appreciated.

    By the way, concerning your joke……no offence was taken by any of my sheep.

    Happy St. George’s Day to all!!!



  8. Tony Shepherd

    Hya John

    Thanks for posting. My sheep were mortally offended!

    Stay tuned for the answer to your Q – I’ll look into this – may take some time but I’ll do what I can


  9. Pat

    Hi Tony- Yep you’re right on with everything you said here. I appreciate you and Sara’s approach cause if I had known about your material when I first started about 4 years ago I would have been alot further than I am now.

    I’ve still been happy and sort of amazed to be free of my bosses since the new year! Took me 3 and 1/2 years writing articles, hiring authors, etc..

    It takes consistent and most importantly- correct action to see results you can count on.

    I’m not wealthy and not really even worried about making a zillion bucks per month. All I need now is some having fun money every month- I figure an extra 1000.00 per month will get me out of debt and then who knows…? I may just fall over from shock! lol

    You and Sara have inspired me and I wanted to really thank you for helping me see a better way forward.



  10. I was directed here by Holly, from whom I’ve learned a lot already, and I find your ideas most intriguing. My previous ebook earnings stalled at $12, and after learning by making every mistake possible (so far) over the last several months, my Adsense experience hasn’t even reached the point where I can extract any cash from it at all. However, it looks as though I’ll be able to buy at least half of next month’s cat food supply from the proceeds of an ebook I wrote for Holly’s Shop. This is a babystep in the right direction, and I look forward to reading more and my cats look forward to my earning more!


  11. Linda Louis-VanReed


    I just want to thank you and Sara for the way in which you have approached your business…being straightforward about your experiences and sharing them with those of us who find it hard to see past the “wage slave” mentality. My husband and I are filmmakers who worked for lots of other filmmakers before we were able to go out on our own — only problem — like any art or craft, you have to have created and sold a product before you can get help from grants or get someone to bankroll you. Our bankroll was a small inheritance we have used to get our business off the ground — it is too easy to bleed money doing this stuff. IM will be very helpful in augmenting the cash so that we can better time and plan the completion of our production — a documentary about American slave Dred Scott and his wife. I was so happy to find you and Sara, you can’t believe it. Sat up very late last night reading “One Month Magnate” and could hardly sleep because my mind was churning. Thank you for all you do. Will keep you posted as we move forward.

    St. Louis, Missouri

  12. Arthur

    Thanks Tony, for the reality check. Or, a little more bluntly, the good swift kick you-know-where! No wonder I’m not making much progress if the truth is I don’t believe myself as far as dreams and goals. You and Sara are great, I get a lot from your emails, but THIS message is exactly what I needed TODAY. First up: My high speed cable internet connection at $44.95/month. I am psyched! Thanks again.

  13. Thomas

    G’Day guys,

    Well I reckon I beat you hands down, 7 years and not one cent in earnings but despite that I still believe the net can provide so I just keep going. I have managed in the last two months to get some free assistance and this is proving enlightening. Tony once told me that you can buy and read till the cows come home but unless you make a start then that’s all we will ever do. Great merry go round this, somewhere it stops and we get off and actually get something productive going. Personally I think we spend too much time trying to earn from the IM circle instead of looking in other areas. Sometime back I tested a free autoresponder and it’s working well, will do till I get income for a “real”one. I also use reseller hosting without having a problem, again will do for now.

    The biggest problem is trying to find the time to follow all the blog material posted and to read all the “good” info, anly so many hours in the day.

  14. Hi Tony what you say makes good sence, i have made a few hundred dollars from a few affiliate promotions, its just how to continue the flow, from what i did before to earn those $

    Today i find my self looking once again for a new position , i work as a contract draughtsman cad for Mainly Architectural, i have done all disaplins from pumpstations thru to mega supermarkets, and roading and drains hospitals high rise low rise toilet blocks to housing and facilities for rest homes. etc etc..

    But when you are on contract , no one cares as long as they get their jobs out on time, once the work is run out you are out, you get paid a higher rate, and pay your own tax, but no security, not that any other job is secure, they just get paid less, but get holidays and may be get topay into a low interest pension scheme, all wool over your eyes stuff really.

    I am keen to learn from you guys how to do this slowly, a $ at a time if need be.

    Have a great week
    Regards Theo Auckland New Zealand
    skype id tolifiers

  15. Frank Dreves

    Hi Tony,

    I really love this article. It gives me a lot of encouragement to continue on my way in Internet Marketing in small reachable steps that move me over the mountain that I sometimes feel I have to overcome before I will have sucess. I know that I will get where I want to be. You give me trust.

    Best regards,

  16. The passage about the boss that doesn’t care is entirely true.

    I got fired from my job in late July 2005. I was upset and heartbroken after string of less than stellar jobs, but figured I’d find another one soon.

    In late August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit, and my entire family was unemployed. The hotel my Father worked for was actually nice enough to pay it’s employees for the next 30 days, but my Mother who worked with the State of Louisiana, and my older Brother who worked for a national retail chain, got NOTHING. Not even a, “Hey, you could come work for this store/dept.”

    It was then that I decided that I was tired of working for companies that didn’t give a damn about me, or what I was going through, and promptly made a promise that I would find a way to make a living no matter where I’m at, so that I’d never have to worry about being penniless again.

    I’m now sitting here in mid-2008 as someone who’s back in school full-time (graduating Dec 2009), making more money than I ever did before (working part-time), and I have complete control over my career as I’m a independent contractor doing stagehand work, modeling, and acting. (Didn’t see that coming, huh?) And to think that it really only took me 2-3 years to get here just taking “baby steps”.

  17. Hi Tony,

    I read your posts from time to time, and it seems I don’t make the time to comment nearly enough to thank you.
    My wife and I are diligently pursuing the online business together, but with her homeschooling our two boys, and me in a dead end day job, there is not much time left in the day for this side biz (for now), AND relationships with one another in the family.
    BUT we are plugging away, and NOT discouraged. I enjoy your direct points and helpful encouragement.

    I likewise shall have to point some friends to you here…

    Enjoy your day!


    P.S. Concerning the sheep…none of them are up in the trees, I take it. (Sorry, bad blatant take-off from ‘arold, that most dangerous of creatures…a clever sheep!)

  18. “The biggest reason people don’t make money
    online is because they never get started”
    -Tony Shepherd

    This subject covers just ONE reason.

    In your work you mention all the other reasons…

    Gurus, asking everyone ‘is this ok’ etc?

    Tony, can I make an ebook out of this blog
    entry and flog it for a king’s ransom?

    Because that’s what it’s worth.

  19. Hi Team :o)

    I just had to pass on this part of a news letter i get from Chris Widener. Its very Interesting reading Enjoy.

    Life always presents us with interesting scenarios and those often provide opportunities for thought and learning. For example, several years ago after we’d moved into our new house, we had a new riding lawn mower delivered with a large attachment that hooks onto it and sucks the grass up and into a container. I think they called it a grass catcher…

    Now, you have to know that I have, and I can’t stress this enough: ABSOLUTELY NO MECHANICAL ABILITY WHATSOEVER!! So I did what any normal guy like me would do: I paid my then 14-year-old boy to put it together for me. He got ten bucks, I got a grass catcher – we were both happy!

    An hour after giving him the task, he came into my office and announced that he was done. I promptly handed him ten bucks and he said, “I can’t believe that I just got paid $10 for doing something I like to do.” To which I said, “No, you got paid $10 for doing something I don’t like to do.”

    Well, that got me to thinking about who gets paid what in our society. Think about it for a minute:

    Doing things that others could do but don’t want to do will get you paid very little. Things like garbage collection. That will get you $18-30,000 a year.

    Doing things that others could do with a little effort and education but choose not to do will get you paid more. Things like tax preparation. That will get you $60-120,000 a year.

    Doing things that others could do, but would require a lot of effort and education and so they choose not to do will get you paid quite a bit. Jobs like being an attorney or a doctor come to mind. That will get you $80-750,000 a year.

    Doing things that others can’t do but would like to do will get you paid a lot! Things like being able to dunk a basketball, hit a 95 mile an hour fastball over a fence or throw a football 60 yards to a man running a 4.2 forty come to mind. That will get you from $400,000 to $25 million a year.

    Have you ever given thought to why you earn what you earn and how it is related to what others are able and/or willing to do? It is insightful because if you want to increase your revenue, you can just tweak what you provide to others based on what they are willing to pay for it.

    Chew on that… I know I am.

    You Are Made for Success!
    Chris Widener

    Hope you got something from reading this , it certainly has me thinking .

  20. Tony Shepherd

    Whew! – lot of posts to reply to here – thanks very much for taking the time guys.

    Here goes….

    Pat – thanks for posting – I disagree though – if you’ve got out of your 9-5 and now work from home you ARE wealthy – certainly a lot wealthier than many people who earn more than you do (if you get my drift_

    Lynne – extremely glad to have you on board, and thanks for posting.

    Linda – as you might know from reading my blog I;m fascinated with other people’s lifestyles so thanks for taking the time to share and please DO keep us updated.

    Arthur- Glad you enjoyed your kick in the balls mate 🙂 As for paying your monthly broadband bill – a great idea to start!

    Thomas – 7 years is quite a time but when you do eventually crack it, it’ll fade into a distant memory and become your ‘apprenticeship’

    Theo – nice to hear from you again – and you make a good point. Even if your IM earnings aren’t yet at a level where you can go full time, at least they’re coming in, and that gives you something than many 9-5 people don’t have- options!

    Cynthia – thanks for taking the time to post – always reallt enjoyable reading about how other people live!

    Hiya Paul – thanks for posting and thanks for yourthanks! Stick with it, and as for sheep……..look up as well as down!

    Mr Rich Peasant – thanks very much for posting – you obviously know the score! Feel free to use the material for this post – just send me my cut!

  21. As always Tony…I LOVE to hear what you have to say!

    I’m compiling a list of emails I receive every day, and marking them as to whether they contain content, something free,or a sales pitch.

    When I saw your email, I stopped what I was doing to read it…and I swear, I said it out loud, “Oh goodie”….LOL!

    I’m hooked on you, bud!


  22. Brilliant Post Tony.

    You just about described my online experience there….
    I had 5 years of trying to make a bit hit and losing moeny every month… then when I finally went for $100, it started falling into place and has slowly built up peice by piece to the ‘bills paid’ comfortable figure.

    Every once in a while I lose track and waste a month or two trying to ‘Jump’ it up to a higher figure – but when I get back to the little pieces it keeps adding a little more each time.

    And my favourite quote on the subject is
    “How do you eat an elephant?….. One bite at a time!”


  23. Tony Shepherd

    Honey – more than welcome! ….and PLEASE keep dropping by with your comments – always welcome.

  24. Tony Shepherd

    Randy – Cheers mate. You’ve actually reminded of me of something with your post – and this will sound like ‘Oh it’s OK for him he’s full-time’ but I’m going to post it anyway cos it’s a HUGE truth for me.

    I only make serious money when I’m NOT trying to.

    Guru-talk crap eh? Honestly it’s not.

    If I sit down and consciously think about what will bring in the biggest wodge of dosh any particular month I find that profits dip. But if I stick to what I enjoy and what I think is best for the people I work with and communicate with on a regular basis (ie my readers and subscribers) then I find profits have gone up quite dramatically.

    This is why working with Sara B works so well – because there’s no way in the world I’d be allowed to do something just for the money!! (I wouldn’t anyway 🙂 )

    This probably happens because a person tends to be better at, and put more into things they’re good at, but hand on heart, this has always worked for me.

    That said you’ve got to go with what brings in the money when you’re first trying to make the break. But if it’s something you love doing then you’re the luckiest person alive.

  25. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your reply, er, replies…to everyone, besides me!

    I know it takes a lot of your time to return and answer questions. My comment regarding sheep was just a humble reference to an old Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit…

    But rather than digress, I will continue to soak up your tips!


  26. Joe Z

    Hi Tony,

    Holly turned me on to you and I am REALLY turned on. THIS is what I’ve been looking for. Would I like a gazillion bucks? Well, yeah. But I don’t see that happening soon and, meanwhile, the bills must be paid.

    Other than reading and absorbing everything on your and Sara’s sites, what is the absolute first step? One Month Magnate?

    Thanks, and have a fine day!


  27. Tony Shepherd

    Paul – What can I say?? Sorry mate – I must have skipped over you.

    Homeschooling is a job in itself because we VERY briefly considered it – and you’re spot on in realising that family relationships come first. I know people who’s children are still in bed when they leave for work in the morning and in bed when they get home.

    Read something a while back about work 10 hours a day to pay the mortgage on a house you’re never in because you work 10 hours a day. Struck me as funny then realised it FAR from funny, but it takes some getting away from. The first step is having a good think about what you want and what you need. Very different things.

    Thanks again for posting and keep on doing it pls!

  28. Tony Shepherd

    Hi Joe Z

    Nice to have you on board (and thanks again Holly for mentioning me)

    The first step to buy the One Month Magnate?

    Nope – don’t buy anything. Have a read of the back issues of my own and Sara’s newsletters – you can get instant access to both archives by signing up using the opt-in form at

    …..and don’t worry – as most people reading this already know, you WON’T get sales emails from us day after day.

  29. Hey Tony,

    I quit my job (WhooHoo!) a year ago and thanks to the advice and encouragement I have received from both you and Sara I will be launching my first e-book soon. I am not rich but am surviving and am lovin’ it. I tried to follow the advice and do a report, but it developed into an e-book instead. That’s otay, I’ll do reports after I get this launched (have a few in the makings). A huge mahalo nui loa for being there and giving as much as you do.


  30. Tony Shepherd

    Hi June

    Thanks for posting.

    Congratulations on quitting your job. The bad news is there’s no going back – even if you get offered the best job in the world.

    The good news is you won’t want it if they DO offer it.

  31. Hi Tony & every one, this last week , i have seen some small deposits at paypal one from world wide brands out of the blue and another from ebay and their new affiliate program, i may concentrate on these 2 to see if we can generate a litle more.
    Just to ask how did you buidl this blog ?

    Links for those interested in my income from the above
    WorldWideBrands & OneSource
    have a great week :o)

  32. Hi Tony…thank you for the very sound advice. I can really relate to it. I don’t know if my initial goal is to high but getting only a fraction of it is getting to be too much of a challenge. I believe I know more than enough on how to do IM but the results are quite not what I expect. I don’t have a an expectation to achieve my goal overnight but small successes would surely be welcome and they come few and far between. This is the first time I’ve ‘discovered’ your site and will be coming back for more great reading. Cheers

  33. I have been making a full time income online for awhile now but because I have not seen the growth and consistency that I want I have not been very happy with my business. This line really opened up my eyes and showed me I need to rember back to when I couldn’t even make my 1st dollar and stop looking at my friends who are bringing home $50k+ a month.

    “Don’t worry about who is making $1000 a month, or $100,000 a month – they’re not your concern – they’re not coming round for Christmas dinner – it’s YOU and your loved ones that this is about, nobody else”

    Thanks Tony.


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