A bit about me and my life…

tony3I reckon a significant number of people at my children’s school think I’m unemployed and on benefits because I’m always around during ‘normal’ working hours – dropping the kids off and picking them up ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m always at school plays, sports days, concerts, ‘dad days’, and anything else my kids are involved with, again usually during 9-5 hours

Doesn’t help that I’m a really scruffy sod and spend most of the summer in shorts and T-shirt and most of the winter in a big old green coat

…despite the fact that I earn a very comfortable living from home

Anyhow – here’s what life is like in the Shepherd house…

We have two cars – a ‘posh’ big, comfy cruising one (which actually isn’t that posh) for our road travels – Scotland, France or wherever…

…and a knackered up old one which we change when it stops working, for zapping round locally in

This is usually a four-wheel drive because we invariably get snowed in for a few days in the winter, and we can also chuck wheelbarrows full of manure in the back, or garden waste or whatever. At the moment it’s an old rusty Toyota

One is a workhorse, the other is for travel

In fact when we got the posh one it turned a few heads up at school from people who think we’re penniless and I mischievously wanted to tell them you can get them free if you’re on benefits and fill out a form…

…but my wife wouldn’t let me.

We live in an old cottage (built in 1796) which was the bigger part of a larger house that’s now been divided into two cottages, in a pretty village with a good school for the kids, a decent arts and music scene and a varied mix of people

Our house is home. It’s comfy and we love it, but it’s definitely not what you’d expect to see on a typical blogger’s ‘bling’ video

It’s a bit ugly from the outside to be honest…

You wouldn’t look at it and assume anything, which is the way we want it, yet it has more than enough room for our family and frequent guests

It’s got a nice garden that is just big enough to fit in a trampoline for the kids, a couple of veggie patches where we grow stuff, a couple of apple trees, some fruit bushes and a tiny pond where get frogs every year.

We eat outside throughout summer when it’s warm enough, light the outside wood burner when we’re getting the garden ready for winter in Autumn and my missus makes jam, pickles, chutneys and other tasty stuff from the things we grow

(if this all sounds a bit quaint or boring stick with me – I’ve got a point to make)

Both myself and my wife work at home.

We work in little chunks then go do other stuff – go out for lunch somewhere, go to a gallery or exhibition or chill out doing….dunno, whatever we like

For example as I write this my missus is watering in some new pea plants and then she’s baking some cakes for the school fayre next week

My next job is to put some air in the old car tyres because it screeches when I go round corners…

…and then I have to go see someone about a possible business venture

You get the idea?

Running an online business from home isn’t about owning speedboats and sports cars as you see in the scam ads.

It’s real life – not some perpetual whirlwind of five-star hotels overlooking sun-drenched beaches (although we’ve done that)…

…and there are other things on the go too of course, I love sailing when I get the chance, the kids have just discovered climbing walls (and Minecraft unfortunately) not to mention several business to run and we’re always on the lookout for new opportunities.

But for working from home is NOT about fast cars and material possessions – it’s not about the money, even though we earn more now than we ever did working a 9-5

It’s not about gated mansions or hugging celebritiesย at events while we point at each other and grin like tits.

My point?

My lifestyle might sound idyllic to some and total hell to others and THAT’S the point

Internet marketing frees you up to decide what type of lifestyle you want.

I mean REALLY want.

Being free of your 9-5 and earning a good income doesn’t mean you have to buy a Ferrari, although many do and that’s fine

But on the other hand many do it because they think they’re SUPPOSED to do it.

You give the average working person a million quid (about $1.7 million) and almost all of them will buy bling, a big house, a fast car and be skint in a year because a million quid is NOT enough to live on forever any longer unless you’re VERY smart.

True freedom in my opinion comes from one simple thing – replacing your salary so that you don’t have to work any longer

This gives you time to THINK. It gives you time to expand your e-business and find your ideal lifestyle

Ours revolves around family, home, travel, creativity and business – for me I especially like how I’m now in a position where my main role in my biz is simply about coming up with ideas…

Our ideal lifestyle is a very simple one

A few years ago I flew to a networking seminar in London. I was booked into the hotel for three nights, and on the first evening we had a cracking night on the town, meeting up with old marketing mates and making new contacts

Same the next one too. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The day after I missed home and my family so much I decided not to wait another day for my flight back so I hired a car and drove home the same day.

Did my wife take the piss? She did a bit yes but I don’t care, and truth told she’s exactly the same.

I’m sure that when the kids have grown up and go to University my wife and I will travel more and maybe move to a smaller house somewhere…

But on the whole life will be very much like it is now I reckon

And for now the kids have put down roots, they have good mates, a great social life (as do we) at a great school and everything is…nice.

How much did my lifestyle cost me to achieve?

About ยฃ2,000 ($2,600) at the time if I remember correctly – I just needed to replace my salary.

How much would it cost to replace YOUR salary?

ยฃ3,000 a month? ยฃ4,000?

THAT’S the actual price of your freedom.

(It’s SO important to understand this)

You don’t need to win the lottery or earn ยฃ50,000 a month (that may come later as you have time to think and develop your business)

So it’s genuinely not hard to do.

Do my mates who run their own businesses take the piss out of me for writing posts like this, and being a family-based, chutney- eating, potato-planting, beardy-wearing, wine- drinking, banjo-playing, life-enjoying hippy?

No, actually they don’t…

Because if you speak to anyone who has achieved any degree of success they’ll tell you that they’ve done it for themselves and their family on their OWN terms…

…and they don’t give a poop what anyone thinks about how they choose to live.

Not a flying one.

And nor do I, and nor should YOU.

My advice is to replace your salary, free yourself up from your 9-5 as quickly as possible through your online business. Whether that’s through writing, internet marketing, building websites, email marketing, software creation, Amazon selling or whatever.

(I know someone who works 60 hours a week and has now hired a gardener because she doesn’t have time to tend the dream garden she works so hard for)

You just need to find a way to pay yourself the same salary that you’re earning now.

(Write, be a proof-reader or copywriter, create software, plugins, apps, software, become an affiliate marketers or do ALL of them!)

Because things will start moving very quickly and will REALLY develop when you get yourself into that position

There’s one more thing.

There are no guarantees in life. NONE

So in my opinion working like a nutter and gambling your entire LIFE on the hope that when you hit retirement age you’ll be able to finally the live the life you want…

…is a mug’s game.

Because any of us might drop dead tomorrow.

Which is why I live my ideal lifestyle right now.

Every day.

You don’t have to earn ยฃ10,000 a month – just work on freeing yourself up by replacing your salary.

The hardest part (and you won’t believe me until you’re in a position to see for yourself) is working out what YOUR ideal lifestyle is, because it’s very unlikely to be what you expect

But bloody hell it’s a lot of fun finding out ๐Ÿ™‚

Apologies for the long post…

Comments welcome as usual


Get my blog posts delivered by Email

33 responses to “A bit about me and my life…

  1. Spot bloody on! Love it.

  2. Well put Tony!

    My kids are long gone from the nest but can really associate what people think of me with your words. I am always around the house and about town when everyone else is “working”. Like you, many think I am unemployed and basically a bum. When I try to explain what I do for a living, get many eye rolls, lol.

    But my lifestyle affords me much freedom. I can work at 8am or I can work at 2am which allows me to play whenever I decide. Would not change my working lifestyle for anyone and do not care what others “think of me”.

    Do I claim to make millions? No. I strive to live a comfortable lifestyle but still do not go for the “lavish” side of life. Will leave that to the corporate junkies who choose to spend a 1/3 of their life in traffic with high blood pressure:) While many are trying to escape from work early to avoid traffic, I am sitting on my back deck with a adult drink in my hand!

    For those that have not figured out how to make a living from their home office, it is very simple. Be honest, do what you say you are going to do and listen to good folks like Tony!

    Cheers Mate,


  3. I enjoyed reading your post, Tony although truth be told I should be working on my latest project but I can’t seem to motivate myself today.

    The sun is shining, my garden overlooks the Irish sea and I suppose I’m wasting time but it doesn’t really matter because I have my own IM business too!

    The only disadvantage of having enough passive income to pay your bills that I can think of is you can get a bit lazy – but it sure beats the hell out of working for a living!

  4. Tony Shepherd

    Roy – I read your emails so I KNOW you have the lifestyle thing sussed mate! We’re on the same wavelength


  5. Tony Shepherd


    You raise an interesting point. You said: “The only disadvantage of having enough passive income to pay your bills that I can think of is you can get a bit lazy “

    It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the whole aim of many IM businesses is to get you to the point where your passive supports your lifestyle. Surely at that point we should stop work?

    None of us do though ๐Ÿ™‚ Hmmmmmm



  6. Tony Shepherd

    Terry – solid comments for sure, we’re definitely from the ‘lifestyle’ side of the fence rather than the ‘bloodpressure’ one. although I reckon that’s down to plenty of red wine ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for your kind comments too


  7. Well put. Sometimes we’re striving so hard that we forget what we’re striving for. Got to remember that the end target is for the lifestyle we want, not for the one that we think we’re forced down.
    Probably live longer that way too.

    Cheers and good health, sir!

  8. Tony Shepherd

    Dead right Steven, it’s knowing when to stop


  9. Tony,

    As someone who has recently been guided to have a look at what you’re up to, I love your take on life and business. I was warned that you employ a certain vernacular and might not be to my taste but, frankly, I’m a grown up and can cope with Anglo-Saxon rhetoric. Most importantly, for me, is the fact that as a northern boy I can relate to you and your approach much more than Internet Marketers from other parts of the world, even though their messages may be valuable as well.

    As a relative newcomer, just about to launch my first product, it is important for me to be able to see that there are real people doing what I want to do and have the lifestyle that I aspire to. I would like the money that comes from success but it is not the most important thing. I want to spend my time with my wife, my 2 young daughters and the rest of my family and friends doing what I want, when I want. That means about ยฃ2,000/$3,000 per month to begin with and if I earn ยฃ30,000 in my first year I’ll be like a pig in shit.

    After that I would like the funds to take my family off in a caravan, a tent, to Disney World and wherever else we want to go and seize life and to lay down the tracks for a life free of the corporate bollocks that I’ve had to shovel for years.

    So keep on peddling your wisdom, paint more pictures for me and give me the inspiration to make my dreams come true.


    Mark Byrne

  10. Great lifestyle. Who wants the stress of a big house? I live where I choose and do what I want and all the kids are gone except one. If he went, life would be great.
    Where I live in Grimsby I am not aware of anyone that works so they just assume I am one of them (unemployed).

  11. Tony Shepherd

    Hi Dave,

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    I love this line from your post:

    “all the kids are gone except one. If he went, life would be great.”

    laughed out loud to that one


  12. Tony Shepherd

    HIya Mark

    I enjoyed your post, and thanks for your kind comments. It was only when I started to relate to a certain online publisher when I was starting out that it clicked with me too – the reality of the situation I mean. He was a northerner too as it happens.

    And as for your situation, I’ve yet to come across a better line to express happiness than ‘like a pig in shit!’ ๐Ÿ™‚

    All the best with your launch


  13. Ian

    I love this message, I’ve heard you say it before in different ways and it never fails to resonate. “gambling your entire LIFE on the hope that when you hit retirement age youโ€™ll be able to finally the live the life you wantโ€ฆis a mugโ€™s game.” That particularly hits home…it’s amazing when I look around at other ‘corporates’ and how they are wholly conditioned to be sheep…being different terrifies them and yet they are envious of people with a lifestyle they secretly want. They call them “lazy buggers” or “jammy gits”.

    It’s my intention to escape corporate life, the internet made the world smaller and opened up the real possibility of lifestyle businesses…


  14. The benefit of working full time in Internet marketing is that you can live where you want. There are many areas of the country where it is cheap to buy or rent a house and as you don’t have to go to a JOB (stands for Just Over Broke) you can live anywhere. Go for it. You won’t regret it.

  15. Anne

    Well said! Peas, potatoes, jam, being at the school gate and enjoying the sun when it shines… Don’t knock Minecraft, it’s v creative and the ‘music’ very soothing compared to most games. As long as they play outdoors too all is well I’d say! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Tony, a great post and I loved reading it, purely because I am a person who likes to fool around at home in my house dig my garden walk my dogs and make my own jam. I am off ill at present ( had a bad brain haemhorrage) but lucky to be alive .I am trying to earn on the net and I will get there. Your use of the english language is good and humerous. I think you write exactly as you talk which makes you unique but very funny. Best wishes for your future and the way you live.

  17. Yo Tony,
    I didn’t get a chance to read your post til today…

    Cos I’ve been in a filed with the family sitting around a campfire drinking Mead and smoking….
    Only to have to awaken sometime before noon to do some sunbathing before it was officially afternnon and drinking time again (we wouldn’t want to be one of those morning drinkers…lol)
    Then just like with IM – We rinsed and repeated from Friday til getting home just now.

    Naturally we left the tatty little corsa at home, and took the camper to stay in luxury all weekend. Cos again – why spend on another Merc like I used to when we all prefer the camper. and the Corsa does it’s job at home for school runs and shopping… hehe

    Likewise – having finally moved in with Rachel and the girls 3 months ago – we just moved 45 minutes out of our old area inot one where there aren’t many jobs, and the benefit, apart from being 8 minutes from the beach, is that we got a Spacious Victorian terrace for what we would have got a 2 bed flat for down the road…

    So now we’re home and I have to log in and file all the paypal emails etc.
    Check your blog post, update facebook possibly, and then chill for the rest of the evening ๐Ÿ™‚

    With the only negative being that it’s just over 3 flipping weeks til the next camp!

    OH well – more dropping the kids at school and looking like the local dealer etc. And as you mentioned – being there for the plays and activities. Exploring the local cafes and pub food, but mainly trying to find more room for Rachel to do all the craft stuff she loves!

    Yep – always loved your posts cos it’s exactly how I think and feel about life online.
    That ‘replace your income’ line of yours motivated me many years ago.
    Here’s hoping it does the same for more of your readers!!

    Cos the last 8 years of being fulltime online have been a lot of fun, and not a ferrari in site ๐Ÿ˜‰
    (I still hate computers though…. but I guess I can forgive them)


  18. Hi Tony,

    Great sentiments and we are working towards such freedom ourselves and love your member newsletter.


  19. Hear, hear, Tony. I’ve even joined the RHS, and now you’ve inspired me to have a go at growing a beard ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoyed reading your post ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Lee

    Your right Tony.
    Enjoy it Because your a long time dead.
    Be who you are that is the art?
    Wish you all the best,

  21. Well hello Tony, so glad Randy pointed me in the direction of this post.

    As you point out figuring out what we actually want our life to be like is the hard part, having spent 20 years in a relationship where I never gave this question a thought, I am now trying to figure this out whilst attempting to make sense of all the income replacement options available to me.


  22. Your post reads like a novel…a very good[non-fiction] one at that. I try my best not to judge anyone particularly appearance wise, but you look down to Earth and trusting to me… the real deal. Hopefully one Day SOON I’ll be in the same live life as you wish mode as you and the Missus are right now. Thanks for the up-lift Tony. I’ll be back for more ;>)

  23. Hi Tony,
    I was referred to this post by Simon & Randy (Mediakettle). and I’ve got to say What a great post. I’ve gone into partnership with my son and we’re busy Laying the foundations of our Internet Marketing Business. Strangely enough we set our first earnings target as a figure which would replace my income from my Droll Boring Job as a bus driver.

    We figured that if we can do that then we will have the time to be creative and build our income for the future. So I was so please to hear a successful Internet Marketer say exactly that and not that we should be aiming for that six figure pay day.

    It’s also great to know that someone who is a successful marketer is living life as a real person and not an in your face yuppie,

    Love you blog and have bookmarked it. Here’s a toast to a successful future in Internet Marketing and living life as a real person.


  24. Tony Shepherd

    Hey Randy thanks for commenting (and for mentioning my post in your email). I think we have pretty much the same outlook on life for sure mate.

    For anyone who’s not on Randy’s mailing list, you can read about his day to day life (and get a free dirt joke most days) if you visit his blog:



  25. Tony Shepherd

    I think you’d look good with a beard Paula…and joining RHS…well I have to confess that I’m only interested in growing stuff you can eat. It’s my wife who knows the fritillaries from the foxgloves.


  26. Tony Shepherd

    Hiya Dale, thanks for commenting mate, and I appreciate your kinds words about my newsletter ๐Ÿ™‚


  27. Tony Shepherd

    Cracking quote Lee:

    “be who you are that is the art?”

    not heard that before


  28. Tony Shepherd

    Hi Igor

    Lots of people never give a thought to what they actually want in life. I didn’t either for a long time. Makes a big difference when you do, because you can go out and get it

    Thanks for posting


  29. Tony Shepherd

    Hi Donald,

    Very kinds words mate – I appreciate you taking the time to post, and welcome too ๐Ÿ™‚

    There’s a contact form at the top of my blog so if you need anything you know where I am



  30. Tony Shepherd

    Hi James,

    I’ll raise a glass to your toast too! I think that’s why a lot of people are put off internet marketing, because they think that you have to go straight into a five figure a month business. You don’t – you just have to get out of your job because THAT’S the thing that frees up your time and lets you plan, work and grow your business. One step at a time – it works.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment


  31. >It was only when I started to relate to a certain online publisher when I was starting out that it clicked with me too โ€“ the reality of the situation I mean. He was a northerner too as it happens.

    Would that be Joe Robson, Tony? The first time I met ‘you’ was in that pub private room where Joe was holding one of his small ‘mastermind’ sessions or whatever they were, and I found I was the guest speaker about 5 minutes before I was supposed to talk and wouldn’t do it.

  32. Tony Shepherd

    Hiya Phil,

    Joe certainly influenced me in certain ways and he’s a sad loss…but he was a bit of a bugger at times too ๐Ÿ™‚

    I remember that meeting well. You were definitely put on the spot at that one ๐Ÿ™‚


  33. Jim

    I really enjoyed your post. Lifestyle and freedom are what matter-not the fancy houses and fast cars. Right now if I could make a dollar I would be more than happy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *