What is something you’ve wanted to do, but felt it was impossible? I’ll start. I can remember vividly when I was back in Texas working during the summer of 2012, waiting tables in San Antonio while living at home with my parents, thinking that going to South America to travel for a year was impossible. At times, I would have momentary panic attacks when I let my worries get the best of me. Asking myself, fretting, “What will I do down there? Will I get too lonely traveling on my own? Did I make a terrible decision quitting my job and ending a two-year relationship? Am I just crazy for wanting to travel through South America not being able to speak spanish and no big travel experience.” All these things, and more, would go through my head on an all-too-frequent basis. But even with these concerns and doubt, I still could feel that going to South America was something that I had to do. So, press on, I did. I worked a lot, saved all my money, and booked my one way ticket to Lima, Peru. I can still remember the afternoon, sitting Indian-style on the floor in my parents living room, when I clicked the Purchase button on Travelocity for my flight to Peru. This is a link to a very early blog post that I wrote after I bought my ticket.
During the summer of 2012, coming to South America was my “Impossible”.
Making this website, my full time job. I would love to create content for this site, sharing my travels and experiences with you, as my profession. Clearly, I would not do a project like this “for the money”, it is a pleasure doing this and I enjoy it. I heard a quote about film and monetization that I believe is appropriate for any art form – “I do not make movies to make money. I make money to make more movies.” The same is true for this website. I do not make content for this site to make money, I make money so I can continue creating content. The next logical question is, “How does one make money with a website like this?” There are many paths on the road towards blog monetization. The first and most common is with ad placement. These ads can be generated through online ad networks (Google Adsense, being the most common) or direct ad sales by the website. For example, if I wanted to target specific companies that I like and would feel comfortable promoting, I could reach out to them and offer ad space for a small price. I haven’t really taken either of those steps yet. I did, however, integrate a small Amazon promo for the equipment that I’m traveling with, which could generate some money. Right now, my focus is creating great content, both written and video, for you and growing an audience.
My new “impossible” is being able to be self-sufficient solely through this website. Seven months ago, my “impossible” was being able to do what I am doing now. So, I know that the impossible can be done, because I have proved that to myself already. In the same way that my dream of traveling was impossible, so is my dream of making this my full-time job. I want to do the impossible.
Some friends would also tell me it is impossible. Below is a screen shot of a message from a college friend that I saved as motivation. I can remember another conversation with a friend back in San Antonio, when he advised me to “be realistic.” “Come on, Russ. Be realistic. Everybody hates their job and would love to just travel. But you can’t really do that,” he said. The advice obviously didn’t stick.
When I accomplish this next “impossible”, I will remember the times of thinking that I won’t be able to do it. But, press on I shall. If you would like to help me with this “impossible”, sharing this website on social networks is very appreciated or just tell a friend the old fashion way – with speech.