...and made a website about canary birds.
My name is Darren. I don't really like my name that much. It seems I can't pronounce it right. There's no speech impediment that I'm aware of but when I tell someone my name is “Darren” they say “Dan?”.
“No, Darren” I repeat.
“Aaron?” they ask.
I live in California. Some in the U.S. say it's a different country. When I was in the US Air Force the guys from Kansas and Michigan always talked about California as a different country completely. I guess with the Hollywood movie industry, the San Francisco liberal community, and the California surf culture it would seem like a different country to some one from the middle of Nebraska.
I talk about canaries for a living. Not the islands, the birds. Yes, my hobby pays my bills, and this page tells you how.
Many people envy my lifestyle. Many people tell me they'd love to pursue a passion that they've put on hold, but lack of time and/or money has prevented it.
A common problem, and one that I have faced many times myself, along with other setbacks. But I solved the problems, I overcame the setbacks, and so can you. How? Read my story...
Trying To Stay Focused.
My biggest passion is learning new things. Without a doubt I am the best customer the local library has. I've always got at least a dozen books piled up and lined up to be read...and new hobbies to try. I must have some form of adult onset attention deficit disorder because I'm always moving on to a new thing. Some things hold my attention for a day and others stick around for months.
As a result, my career path has been a jumble of odd jobs and half-tried businesses. Don't get me wrong...I'm not crying about it. It's just that I want to KNOW MORE STUFF AND DO MORE THINGS. Surely, there's nothing wrong with that.
As I mentioned, I spent 4 years in the military after high school, then I worked on a citrus farm, and then went to college “to see what they know”--(Jimmy Stewart reference). I've owned a jewelry company, a real estate investing company, a chimney cleaning company, and even considered becoming an equine dentist but came to my senses just in time.
It seems a little pathetic, looking back on all that, but it turns out that "quickly becoming bored" is...
...One Of The Best Things In My Life!
A few years ago my uncle began pressuring me to raise canaries...
“Canaries? Why would I want to raise canaries?” I didn’t know a canary bird from a coo-coo bird. But I found out later what a joy it is to have the little guys around. Besides, it'll be fun giving it a try. "There I go again!"
Eventually, I gave in and bought 6 breeding pairs from him. He loaned me some breeding cages, told me where to get the seed and other supplies, and gave me some very basic instructions (VERY basic...I’m surprised that first batch did so well!).
“How Do I Do This?”
So, I began researching canary care and breeding.
I did a lot of research online...or TRIED to. Most of the info was very limited and the one or two sites that had a good supply of information were virtually impossible to navigate. I couldn’t find the info I needed.
I bought and borrowed books and learned a lot. Asked my Uncle hundreds of questions, talked to other breeders, and before I knew it I was a successful canary breeder.
In the meantime, I was still cycling through careers like a maniac. Most of what I did was profitable. I would just get bored and so...on to the next thing.
Plus, I had recently become a single dad. “Uh-oh. Time to get focused”, I thought. “But there are so many new things I want to learn about and do. If I work the proverbial 8 to 10 hour days then play daddy in the 2nd half of the day how in the world am I going to pursue my interests?”
I set a new goal:
“I will figure out how to 'make a good living' in 4 hours per day so I can continue to pursue my interests AND be a great dad at the same time.”
Sound unrealistic? I assure you, it's not. If I've learned one thing in life it's that people don't realize what's possible if they aim high, keep an open mind, and stay creative! Think about your life. What is it that you really want from it? And turn off the little voice that keeps saying, “It can't be done.” It can.
...is so simple. I wonder why it took me so many years to find it: Make a living doing what you love! How?
My passion is discovering new things, and so I did that with canary birds and canary care, but you can do what I'm doing with any passion, hobby, skill, area of expertise...whatever it is that makes you happy. And you can do it in your spare time!
Like I said earlier...I enjoyed learning about, and keeping, canaries but I'd also discovered the internet, and somehow, I don't even remember how, I stumbled across SBI.
SBI stands for "Site Build It!" and helps you to turn any hobby, passion or skill into a viable online business. You probably don't even realize that almost any topic can make money with a website.
Build a website?! Exactly. Remember, I was relatively new to computers and the internet world. This website was built with SBI, so you see... anyone can do it. (And don't judge SBI on my poor writing skills, it's not SBIs fault ;-) Thank goodness I don't have to be a brilliant writer to do this.)
"Never be afraid to try something new; remember amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic."
You need no programming skills or web design knowledge, no business and no product to sell. Just bring your brain and motivation. SBI has all the tools you need, and they take you by the hand and teach you step by step how to use everything.
They help you find the perfect topic for your site, to build it, to get traffic to it, and then they even teach you how to make money with it, no matter what it is about!
Have a look at the quick Video Tour to get an idea of how it works.
And have a look at this: hundreds of successful SBI websites, built by normal people like you and me. All these sites are in the top 1% of the most successful sites on the web.
You can also see that there is a staggering variety of topics that people have turned into profitable websites with SBI.
I started the very website you are on right now in 2004, it started to make small amounts of money immediately and within a few months I knew I had finally found a way to stop chasing the 9 to 5 dream (nightmare). And all the time I'm just writing about something I love and I am genuinely helping people. How much better can it get?
(Actually, it can and does get better. Because I have this website all my hobbies, er, I mean “research” expenses are tax deductible...). Learn something new then write about it. Even if I do write like an 8th grader it all pays off.
Yes, in the beginning this is a lot of work. But keep in mind that doing something you love never feels like work. And you can do it in your spare time. YOU set the pace.
The main thing is, it's totally risk free. SBI has a full money back guarantee. They're happy for you to try it out to see how you like it.
How do I make money? At the moment mostly with advertising. You probably saw the links throughout the site that say "Ads by Goooogle". Every time someone is interested and clicks on one I make money. I also sell a canary singing CD and a couple of ebooks I wrote. But I didn't need to offer a product to my visitors...
There are countless other ways to make money with a website: sell other people's products for a commission, get paid for leads and referrals and more. SBI shows you how to do all that.
You can get some more ideas from what other SBIers are doing. Just have a look at the case studies.
People always email me to tell me how inspired they are by my story, and how they wish they could do something like that: escape the 9 to 5 drudgery, pursue their interests, see the world, do what they have always been dreaming of...
Well, you can, so what are you waiting for?
"100% of the shots you don't take don't go in."
You only have one life.
Make the most of it.
Try Solo Build It - because if I can do this, you can!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."