If you get bored just remember, I had to live it
There’s more to me than what I get paid to do. This page digs a little deeper. You might want to pop some popcorn. It could be considered TMI but it offers a good high-level background on how I got to where I am now, career-wise.
I grew up in a trailer park in Smyrna Tennessee. We moved there in 1970 when I was 3 years old. I moved out after graduating from Smyrna High School, 1986. I would return more than once but that is a longer story.
For all of my teen years, I was embarrassed to live in the trailer park. My parents managed the property for over twenty years. We were literally the “wealthiest” residences in the trailer hood but I didn’t see it then. I would give anything to go back and appreciate that place, the people and the experiences I had living there.
In 1984, my best friend introduced me to this thing called the Internet. He connected to the Internet using the handset of his home phone by placing it on this thing called a modem which dialed the local Library. I didn’t think much of it then. I was 17 years old. I had more important activities on my mind.
I attended MTSU for a few semesters in 1988. However, unforeseen circumstances interrupted my life and it was at that time that I started making money in my first business and so I decided to pause my college education. It has remained paused.
I have always been an entrepreneur
Long before I was actually making money from my ideas, I was dreaming about making money from my ideas. My first business was a landscape company. It only lasted a couple of years but the experience of doing my own thing, being the boss was a feeling I felt comfortable with. Like most entrepreneurs, I haven’t always been able to be my own boss. From time to time, I had to work a job or two to pay the bills. No matter where I was, I was always planning my next move. This is something that I still do today.
During one of my longer stints as a worker, I had an idea. This was around 1994 and I had been online, as in I had the Internet in my home, for a couple of years. One of my online hobbies then was trading stock options online. I had actually devised a system using chart indicators to signal the buying and selling of stock options. I believed other option traders might find my system useful. For several months, I diligently compiled charts, commentary, and real trade examples to fully explain a system that I had been using to trade stock options. The finished ebook was 78 pages long and ready to be sold, but I had a problem. I couldn’t afford to have a website built. So, I learned HTML.
I saved up for months and purchased the Macromedia Dreamweaver/Fireworks suite. It took quite a few months but eventually I learned to create websites and built the first of several to sell my ebook and eventually other products and services I would offer.
So I had an ebook to sell and a website to sell it. I quickly learned pay per click marketing on sites like Go.com, GoTo.com, Kanoodle.com, Excite.com and a variety of lesser known search engines that existed before Google closed them all down. In about a year I went from someone with an idea to a self-employed info product seller making more money a week than I had made in a month at my last j-o-b. By 1996, I was selling several info products and services related to online trading. I offered a weekly options trading newsletter. A live futures trading chat room. Day trader training and what I called Day Trader Radio which was me and a few other day traders using Yahoo’s voice chat rooms to talk about trades and random miscellaneous chatter.
All of this self-learning made me good at building and marketing websites
I quickly found that building websites could be very profitable, a lot more profitable than trying to time the stock market. In time, I started offering PPC services with my website builds and then SEO. In 2002, I started my own Digital Marketing Agency and by 2004 that business was my sole enterprise.
I officially closed my agency at the end of 2012. It was my intention to “retire” from digital marketing but before I could settle in, I was recruited by and worked for Ned Horton at the Horton Group. A little less than a year later, I was recruited by Tractor Supply Company to become their first professional SEO. I became their SEO Analyst in February of 2014.
In August of 2016, I was asked to consider a position with a digital agency in Austin who had opened an office in the Gulch in downtown Nashville. I am currently the Senior SEO Analysts for the GPO Nashville office.