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This is the somewhat embarrassing story behind why I actually started my online business (and it's NOT what you think)… and the one impulsive decision that set me up for all the success I've had. And, of course, there's a big lesson here…

Next up… Day 11: Deadlines and Doubling Your Sales


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32 Replies to “Day 10: Impulsive Decisions and Consequences”

  1. Brilliant video, Jeff! 🙂 The key lesson for me is: “what got you here won’t get you to the next place you want to go” ie: you going back to the corporate world was a mistake and you realised it. This lesson is something I am trying to apply to myself and my own business, easier said than done but change is essential if you want to grow your business (and yourself).

  2. Hey Jeff, brilliant story thanks for sharing.

    Great message that the best direction is often the pass less travelled, or maybe forging a new path.

    Something to be said about going with your gut feeling.

    Awesome. Thankyou

  3. Jeff, that was a wonderful example of what it means to really follow your instincts. The moment you decided to act on it and walk out of the class and into the unknown must have been one of those crystallizing moments when you have an internal shift that absolutely changes everything. Thank you SO much for sharing this with your readers. I wouldn’t be embarrassed….it took a hell of a lot of faith in yourself to admit that you were going down the wrong path and do something about it immediately, instead of over-thinking and hesitating and second-guessing. I believe when we don’t act on those internal signals, we give larger forces at work the opportunity to force our hand, which often is not pretty!

  4. This is pretty much where I am at right now. I studied aerospace engineering and got a MS degree, but have already seen during internships, that the corporate world is something I want to avoid if at all possible. So I started writing a computer game, but with the completely wrong attitude. I did it alone, for years and in secret. In the end I couldn’t even finish it. After realizing that I finally started looking for freelance work and was able to find one project from family and another one from the Internet. The second one (reprogramming a drone) was the one I consider my $1650 moment, although it was only $1200. Only problem was I found that job through Elance, which doesn’t exist anymore, so I’m currently building up another project (a Raspberry Pi based battery management system) to do independently, which I would like to turn into a business. It’s very encouraging to listen to your story and I’ll try to implement PLF this time.

  5. Hey, Jeff! While not quite understand English better understand your content on intonation. I understand only the basic meaning.

    I am learning the language and save all your lessons. It would be cool if you did a video transkribatsiyu, printing history.

    Thank you in advance,
    With good thoughts about you,
    Dmitry Rekun

  6. This is a great story Jeff with a fun lesson. I have to ask, how did your wife feel about these decisions you were making?

  7. This story is proof that it’s the journey that matters most. You finally launched your business to get into graduate school, and by attending graduate school you realized that you were ready to focus on your business. Your business was an internet newsletter about the stock market and now it is about internet marketing. Great story. It really is all about the baby steps. I’m enjoying your video series a lot. Thank you.

  8. What an inspiring message Jeff!
    As a fellow “round peg” you definitely struck a cord with me. And, from a beginning publisher, you pulled a couple of mental obstacles out of my way too.

    It was good to hear you branch out from your core story as well and share a new chapter in a genuine way. I do hope that all this positive feedback will continue to build your confidence in being transparent and you’ll continue deviating from script from time to time.
    All the Best

  9. Jeff, this was a powerful video about education and knowing when to trust your instincts. Your story about walking out of that graduate school class and following your gut was amazing! I had a similar moment a while back where I was attending a computer programming school for one semester, failed spectacularly and dropped out to figure out where I was headed. I pivoted a couple of years later into the career field I’m in now, and haven’t look back. Thanks for sharing this – very timely and really appreciated.

  10. I love the way you don’t need a school degree to become successful in the internet business world. Even high school dropouts can figure it out on their own and become millionaires. I got accepted to a prestigious MBA program myself in 2001 but could not see myself sitting through the boring theoretical lectures taught by professors who have never actually started any businesses before so I didn’t enroll. I have no regrets.

  11. I loved that story but I can only imagine how your wife and family felt about your decision that day. Good for you to have the strength and confidence to stand by your choice. That character explains a lot of your success today I’ll bet.
    Thanks for all of this. I’m looking forward to each day’s installment.

    • @Pat: I’m blessed to have an incredibly supportive wife – she’s been there for me every step of the way. And my kids were too young to know (or worry) about what was going on. And we didn’t tell anyone else in the family. 🙂

  12. Richard Sullivan


    Jeff, you often drive home the point that free, valuable content creates a strong bond with your “tribe.” This video series forges that bond in cement. Very powerful. Thank you. I eagerly await the next 20 videos.

  13. I love hearing about success stories that are outside the corporate grind. What a feeling that must have been to get up in the middle of the lecture and walk out…I feel the freedom in your choice.

  14. Gene Zimmermann


    Jeff, thanks for sharing the “rest of the story”… especially how your thorough plan (more education for a corporate job) was trumped by your real experience with the small launch that led to your real purpose. And thanks for following that “road less traveled” so that we could benefit years later from your experience.

  15. HA! Jeff Walker – Walking Away from what wasn’t a fit, and Moving UP to what you were meant to was the best you could have done!
    It so resonates with me – similar experiences in my life when Spirit called me to step away from what ego or conditioning could have gotten me into but what wasn’t meant to be my path.
    Thank you so much for this one – and many more!

  16. Thank you so much for this video. My job is ending in 4-8 months and I have decided to pursue my part-time business full time. However, like you, I still have doubts about whether it’s the right decision and keep thinking I could just get another job in my field. But I don’t want to go back to another J.O.B. I’m sure if I did I would end up quitting sooner rather than later. Thank you for sharing your “secret”, It helps put things into perspective for me.

  17. Hi Jeff, what a great story. I love your realizations that you knew you could get better and you could see your future. Your 30-day challenge is very exciting. As always, thank you for sharing your experiences and lessons.

  18. Great story! Loved the Peanuts adult trombone voices. My story of higher education failure: I decided to go for a grad degree in Computer Science. It wasn’t even “real” grad school since I was just auditing, as I had not applied to the school yet. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to take a course that I did not take during undergraduate school (Operating Systems). The material was over my head, and the professor had a thick accent. The school was in a city with a lot of bad neighborhoods. I wound up getting lost once in the city. This was in the pre-GPS stone age. When did I finally decide to quit? One day I decided to clean the refrigerator instead of studying, and realized that was against everything I’ve ever done. I lasted about 3 weeks as opposed to half a class. I can be a slow learner. In any case, I did wind up getting a different masters degree in a slightly different field from a different school.

  19. Wow! Can I ever relate to this – a need to make money after spending ten years outside of the traditional corporate labor market. Our direct sales company restructured our compensation schedule and put more products on sale. Our income was cut by about one-half, and even 2/3 some months. There isn’t a long line of corporate employers looking for a 71 year old sales/marketing director with a Master of Commerce degree. So, it’s going to be up to me to be creative and continue to be non-traditional. Thanks, Jeff. I’m inspired!

  20. What an inspiring story. Two major take aways for me were – 1) follow your intuition, and 2) believe in yourself. Thanks for being a great example for me (us).

  21. Hi Jeff,
    I think what you went through is what a lot of women go through when they have kids. Choosing to stay at home is in many cases shooting up your career in the corporate world and they struggle to get back.
    Sometimes the driver is what you don’t want to unfold to move in an other direction. Thank you for sharing it really makes you think.

  22. Hi Jeff, your videos so far have been fun and helpful and interesting, but this one really touched me. There is something so blessed about those times in life when your head thinks it’s being sensible, but your heart knows the truth, and the moment is pregnant with possibility. It’s a real moment of transcendence when the heart finally sings so loud that it draws you to do something that makes your head spin! I love those moments of truth; you’ve reminded me to listen to my heart more often. Thank you for sharing!

  23. Patricia Kennett


    Howdy Neighbor,
    I live in Ridgway and have been following you for awhile now….love your honesty and content. I have been assisting others in their businesses and now I am ready to do my business, online, as that is where I know I can serve the most people. You have been nothing short of inspiring and I love this story, I did love school as I have a BS degree but that is not and end all by no means, to promote yourself is probably the best investment in time anyone can make. I am greatful for your tips along the way as this is helping me to say YES to myself!

  24. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. First, kudos to you for staying home with your daughters and making them your priority. Second, thanks for sharing you walked out on your graduate class. So often we fall into the trap that higher education is the only path to success. Trusting your instincts and then committing to the choice you make is a huge part of success. I am in the midst of transitioning from my offline consulting business to online. Thanks for the inspiration and proof it can happen.

  25. Hi Jeff. I love your story.
    I was working and studying, it was mid term, after doing a mediation I decided to rent out my unit, close my business and move to the country to help my oldest adult ‘child’ who was ill, and help look after my grandchild. that was 2007. We spent years travelling the country, living in many unusal places, the best years of my life. xxxx
    I have been implementing many of your ideas, thank you for the great advice.
    Can you include ways to approach organizations/people to use articles in their newsletters please.
    with love Anne Jennings, Brisbane, Australia.

  26. This is pretty amazing. I did do my Accounting Degree & IT degree even though I was never really that passionate or good at it. I never had the courage to just walk out of that classroom. Or try anything else. I love seeing kids these days just follow their heart and their dreams rather than doing degrees just for security. Thanks Jeff, Sharnee xx

  27. Kathy Lemak


    Great video, Jeff! I just enrolled in interior design school yesterday, heading toward a new career as my graphic design skills are near extinction. Like you, I’ve been out of the job market 5-6 years. I do have an interest in interior design, drafting, etc. At the same time, over last weekend, my inner being suggested going back to doing calligraphy (“just” a hobby) and the idea of creating my own line of greeting cards, placards and posters, or some other related product. With your example, now I don’t know. :/

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