UPDATE: ForeverJobless is Back

“Guess who’s back” (cue the beat)

Wow, it’s been a while. I’m back from an extended blogging break for a blog I barely started. I’ll do better, I promise.

I’m a very slow writer… it gets hard to balance with everything I have going on. It takes longer than I thought to put out the type of content I want to write. 2013 should be much different.

I spent a lot of 2012 working on things I didn’t necessarily want to be working on and/or wasn’t a good use of my time, and I need to do a better job of that this year. The blog will benefit from that.

I know there’s interest in “update” type posts. I don’t know if I’ll do monthly updates, but since I know that’s something people are interested in, I’ll try to do regular updates on some of the projects I’m working on that people might find interesting. We’ll start with today’s post.


I started the blog on August 1st, made 3 posts over a 3 week period and haven’t blogged since. Despite that, I was able to gain over 1,700 subscribers.

First post: August 1

Last post: August 21

Month One Traffic


There are a lot of flawed theories out there on the best ways to build a blog. Much like business, many people grind away at it incorrectly. Blogging is constantly viewed as a saturated market. It’s actually one of the LEAST saturated markets out there. I’ll probably write a post about this subject in the near future if people are interested.


I mentioned one of my objectives this year is to work on things that are the best use of my time. One of the ways I’m clearing off my plate is selling some of my e-commerce stores that aren’t my focus. Our busy season just finished up, so now is a good time to do it. They don’t really take a lot of time to run, but we have a very lean team, so with new projects coming up it makes more sense to focus on as few things as possible. I’d rather have our time going towards our main projects rather than spreading ourselves too thin.

That being said, I’m always on the lookout for good opportunities, and there seemed to be an opportunity for one of the main stores.

There was a product I thought about going to China for in October. I wanted to meet with some manufacturers about making it for us. I decided against it due to time constraints, and the fact that I wasn’t sure I’d stay interested long enough to want to undertake a big project with that particular product.(it wasn’t an easy one to make) After debating with myself, I decided there are way too many opportunities out there to get involved in a project I may not enjoy.

I’m planning on going to China in April or October this year with my friend K (from this post). He’s been doing business out there for years, but this will be his first visit as well. We mainly want to meet people, visit some factories, check out some fairs and get a feel for everything.

Speaking of that…

Have you ever been interested in getting China-like margins on products without traveling to China? It’s actually not all that complicated. We tried it for a product on one of the stores.

All we did was call the brands who currently made the product, and factories that made similar products here in the US. Then we asked if they were open to a whitelabel deal. Many of them were, since it’s not much additional work on their end. All we were asking them to do with whitelabeling, was to take a product they already made and let us rebrand it under our brand.

Many people were willing to do this for us… several at extremely high margins.

For the product we tried it on, we get 29% margins currently. With a handful of calls and emails, the margin quotes we received ranged from 40-50%.

I’m surprised more people don’t look into doing this. If you want higher margins but don’t want to go through China, try this strategy out.


One thing I looked into a decent amount last year was investing in startups.

I looked at a lot of deals, but ran into the same problem way too often- everyone thinks they’re the next big thing, and want to be valued as such.

Here’s the deal: the valuations are so insane a lot of times that the investing strategy is hoping someone else comes in and pays a higher multiple than you did. In almost all of the calls/meetings I’ve had with people doing angel rounds, I found it amazing that almost no one tried to sell me on the profit they were making/planning on making. There was no talk of ever making money. I came away from most of those calls baffled.

Was I being punk’d?

They were only focused on raising another round of money at a later date, which would be at an even higher valuation. They were selling the idea that this is where I’d make money.

Art of the Pitch

That’s not the type of investing I like to do (although it does work for some people). Even when some of those businesses hit a home run, a lot of the times you as the investor won’t hit one, because you invested at such an absurd multiple.

I’ve looked into a few alternatives to angel deals such as helping fund companies and getting actively involved with their business/marketing (rather than playing startup roulette).

There are a lot of people out there who don’t know how to make money, running a business that isn’t profitable with no clear plan to scale, yet they’re out there trying to raise money.

Some of the companies with baffling valuations actually ended up getting funding.

This made me think I might be playing the wrong game in business.

I’m no expert in the angel space, but just from poking my head around a bit, it makes me think there’s a lot more money available than there are good companies to invest in.

When some people think about starting a business they think about Silicon Valley. They think about raising money, getting meetings with investors, having a board of advisors, getting bought out someday… They forget about all of the important stuff…like…making money.

I did end up making one large investment, but it wasn’t any sort of angel deal (I’ll probably discuss this in a future post). If you’re trying to get a great return on your money, chances are that standard angel deals will not get you there (overvalued ones definitely won’t). You either need to get in a position where you get non-standard deals, or create a new situation that adds value to both sides of the deal.


One thing I almost did since my last post, was buy $84,000 worth of books from Tim Ferriss.


Let me explain.

Tim Ferriss recently released a new book called The 4-Hour Chef. He ran a promotion to help make book sales, and one of the offers was as follows:

For $84,000 you would get:

  • 4,000 books of The 4-Hour Chef
  • Two 60-minute keynote speeches
  • All expense trip anywhere in the world, with 5 other people who sign up.

Most people would instantly look at this and say, “too expensive”.

That’s a silly response.

This was clearly a +EV opportunity, it’s just that most people don’t think that way about things. If someone described it as “too expensive”, it’s probably because they didn’t run the math. They were reacting emotionally to the $84,000 as seeming like a lot of money, rather than logically about the EV on the deal being extremely positive.

Remember what we talked about in this post: https://foreverjobless.com/how-to-buy-a-ferrari-for-20k/

In the long term, everything works itself out if you are putting the work in and consistently making +EV decisions.

Don’t let emotion get in the way of making money. Some simple math will tell you everything you need to know, and it’s often going to lead you in a different direction than your initial emotional response would have.

You will have much better end results once you start making decisions logically instead of emotionally.

Let’s break the deal down:

You get 4,000 books of The 4-Hour Chef. As you can see, the book is selling for $20.99. The cheapest new book is selling for $17.49 + shipping.

Maybe you offload the books and get $60k back.

Then, you get an all expense trip with top entrepreneurs/investors.

“But wait, it didn’t say top entrepreneurs/investors were going!”

Well, you can figure that out pretty easily by realizing the other 5 people on the trip have at least $21k to throw around (price of that package), so they probably do pretty well. The trip alone would probably be worth $5-$10k, and doesn’t factor in that you will establish close relationships with a handful of successful people.

Then the main value – you get 2 keynotes from Tim. I’ve heard he charges ~$100k for a keynote speech, so just right there you’re getting around $200k in value.

Since you’ve already paid yourself back most of the money from book sales, you’re basically getting Tim to speak almost FREE for you… TWICE.

It’s pretty easy to fill a room for Tim Ferriss. So on top of the close relationships with Tim and other top entrepreneurs, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to make a sizable amount of money.

A friend here in Austin had a project I thought would be a perfect fit for this, so I let him know about it. He looked into it and had a phone chat with Tim, but decided against it last minute.

Another friend of mine named Jayson was actually the one who ended up purchasing it. I met Jayson at a small event Tim had last year. I won’t say what he’s doing with it since I’m not sure if he wants it public yet or not, but he had some pretty cool ideas around how to leverage the deal. (If he’s cool with it, I’ll post an update on this in the future)

You might be thinking, “Ya, but I don’t have $84k…”

So what? Partner. Find someone who does have the money. Then put a plan together to run the deal for them and split the proceeds. There’s plenty of people out there who have the money, but their time is limited (like mine was in this case).

“Ya, but why would Tim even do this, what’s the catch?”

Selling an extra 4,000 books helps Tim make the bestseller list. He’s willing to give extra value to the buyer because of this goal. It creates a win-win.

Train yourself to see these opportunities. They are EVERYWHERE.

Often the money as an entrepreneur is made by seeing opportunities other people can’t. This is a practicable skill set, it’s just not practiced by many.

(from “How to Get Lucky in E-Commerce”)

Closing Thought

One thing I want to touch on before I end this post is to recommend setting goals for this year (if you haven’t already).

I experienced some huge life changes due to goals I set last year. Here are some quick tips on how to do this the best way possible:

Set specific goals, and have specific plans for how you’ll accomplish these goals, and even specific benchmarks to track progress through the year on them.

The way most people set goals don’t allow them much chance of success.

“Get in better shape” is not a goal.

Getting to x% body fat by going to the gym x times/week doing a specific workout program while maintaining a specific diet is a specific goal, that will get you specific results.

Keep this in mind when setting your goals for the year. It’s not too late to fix them.

By the end of the year you should try to accomplish AT LEAST 1 thing that will change your life.

Don’t fall into the trap of setting low goals so you can hit them. Then you’re just going to be “successful” at hitting goals, but unsuccessful at life.

It’s very hard to fail completely, if you aim high enough. – Larry Page

Set your goals high, set a specific plan to achieve them, and have at least one life changing accomplishment this year.

Finding success is apparently a huge secret – here’s the real secret:

It’s not as hard as you might think.

65 Responses to “UPDATE: ForeverJobless is Back”

  1. Jayson

    Dude, the traffic you were able to generate with 3 blogs posts is crazy. I would love for you to document the strategy behind it.

    As for the 4000 books, I actually didn’t have access to that cash at the time, but I knew if I pulled the trigger I would figure it out. Luckily I made 3 phone calls that morning and 2 agreed to front me the money, no strings attached. That’s the power of building a solid network. As Tim says, “Your network is your net worth”

    • Billy

      I’ll try to write a strategy post about blogging at some point.

      That quote you mentioned is one of the biggest takeaways I’ve gotten from Tim.

    • Terence Chang

      I totally agree with Jayson. Your network is your net worth.

      First of all, Bill. Fastlane Job well done.

      I’ve seen my friend nailed a $2M deal in front of me with simply just one phone call. While we were walking and chatting in one of business plaza, he spots a “condition”. He went silent for about 15 seconds and pickup the phone. In the next 5 minutes, he close the $2M deal.

      Opportunity is really everywhere.

      While I evaluate my time more than money, I often find myself wasting time chasing small easy money. I should focus more on the big opportunities that has the potential to make huge money.

      One thing my friend do really well is to value and price the opportunity. He must have a calculator in his brain. This has changed my direction the big time.

      I actually just read Google CEO Larry Page’s interview in one of the interview he did.

      If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things.

      After all, 2013 is the new year of using OPM (other people’s money) and OPT (other people’s time).

      I look forward to reading more about your trip!

      • Billy

        Would love to hear how that deal with your friend worked out, and more details on it.

        I often find myself going after small opportunities as well- it’s easy to get caught up in all the different deals you can make money on, rather than focusing. I’m trying not to get caught in that trap this year.

  2. Mike

    Damn! 1,700 subscribers with 3 posts… that has got to be a record.

    Great post, glad to see you back!

  3. Jordan

    Nice post billy! Looking forward to some awesome content from you!


  4. JAJT

    I could not be happier that you are updating this blog again.

    Great work!

  5. Dave

    Great post Billy, missed your insights, can’t wait for the next one.

    Good job.

  6. Anne

    Billy, glad to see you are back! I love your $84k purchase and your +EV analysis. Coincidentally, we just finished our 2013 goals, and John came up with our theme of “Go Big or Go Home (Brah).” We are also planning a trip to China in April or May. Looking forward to more posts and hope to catch up with you again in AZ!

    • Billy

      Hey Anne, great to hear from you! You hitting the fair in China?

      Sounds like a good theme for your goals- can’t wait to hear about them next month!

      • Anne

        Actually, yes… I think we will go to the fair. We thought about going last October as well, but we heard about it too late to plan properly. I’ve read it’s a good place to get ideas, but not necessarily for finding killer deals. We plan on doing some factory visits and wholesale market shopping while we’re there. See you next month!

  7. Brian

    I agree with Jayson. That’s a crazy amount of traffic for only a few blog posts. I’m definitely intrigued as to your strategy and how you’re going about building a following. Looking forward to new posts!

  8. Brandon

    Good stuff Billy!

  9. John

    “It’s actually one of the LEAST saturated markets out there.”

    Would like to hear your rationale on this, and your views on market saturation in general. Thanks.

  10. Brett

    Great to see you back in action, Billy.

  11. Puffin

    Great read, once again

  12. Jon

    Great read as always Billy!

    I’d have a question about the whitelabel deal you did. Do you actually ask the brand what factory they source from or you’d just call many factories of the same industry and ask them if they would replicate a product on the market for you?

    Would really like to get more information on this and maybe some words on what kind of MOQ these factories have?

    Thanks man, glad you’re back!!!

    • Billy

      Some companies produced their product in house. Some companies who produced in house were also willing to tell us who their manufacturer was before they moved it in house, so we got several recommendations from our calls as well. People can be surprisingly open and helpful sometimes. Some didn’t have a minimum, some did. With whitelabeling a product, the minimum is probably going to be a lot less since they already make the product. You’re not asking them to create a product from scratch, so it’s much easier for them.

  13. Allen

    Finally. Great post and its already got me wanting more.

  14. Jay

    Hey Billy nice to read another Blog Post from you!

    Can you give me some tips on how to become more creative so that you can see all the business opportunities that suround you?

    Quote from your post:
    “Train yourself to see these opportunities. They are EVERYWHERE.”

    Do you have any useful tips on how to train yourself to see these opportunities? Did you have the “skill set” of being creative and seeing opportunities right from the beginning or was there something particular you did to train your “skill set”?

    Maybe you could give me some guidance on this topic.

    • Billy

      I’ve been wanting to write a post on that- haven’t figured out exactly what I want to say on the subject yet. When I do, I’ll make a post on it. It’s a tough question to answer in a clear way.

  15. AllenCrawley

    Well, well, well. I thought you fell of the face of the earth 🙂 Great update post! Opportunity is everywhere and I loved the explanation of the potential $84k deal. The keynotes alone had a huge opportunity that I would have liked to taken advantage of.

  16. Thomas

    Booom! He’s back! Lookin’ forward to more.

    I would imagine just being able to pick TF’s brain about whatever would be worth the 84k.


  17. TJ


    Your posts always seem to hit perfectly on that area of the brain that lights up wanting to find out more and start searching for opportunities that other people cannot see.

    Do you ever hire people to help you with tasks? I’d love to work for an entrepreneur. I have connections with a lot of successful entrepreneurs that live around the globe, a connection with a internet marketer almost worth $100 million, but am currently doing Car Sales. It is great for learning sales, but I would much rather work my ass off for someone doing deals and projects like yourself.

    • Billy

      Thanks for the great comment TJ, glad to hear that.

      I have a few people who work with me, but it’s tough to do ‘mentor’ type situations.(which sounds like what you’re looking for) The one person doing one now with me is because he laid out specific plans on how he could create a lot of value for me, told me his skillsets and showed past experience where these were on display, and he already had a decent ‘base’ of entrepreneurial knowledge. Plus the fact that a lot of his skills revolved around things I wasn’t good at and/or didn’t have time to do. He also didn’t care about the money at all, he just wanted to learn and add value.

      If you figure out a way to add value to someone, it’ll be easy to work with anyone you want.

  18. Furio

    Wow Billy,

    great post. I got hooked to your blog after reading your story on Viperchill..com

    Did you also did other guest posts/interviews? Would love to read them.

    I live in China since 2010 and have a run popular blog about it.

    It’s funny that just this month I’ve interviewed a business man that started to buy products at the Canton Fair in 1982.

    Actually I’m also thinking to start doing it myself. Maybe we will meet in Guangzhou next April ; )


    • Billy

      Thanks Furio!

      Yes, I’ve done a handful. I may compile them and put them all into one of the update posts.

      Maybe I’ll see you at the fair in a few months 🙂

  19. Drew

    Hi Billy!

    Your posts always blow my mind. Thanks for opening up on perspectives that are definitely not the norm. I needed the brain pop today!

  20. Dennis

    Billy, to go from Jay’s point on finding opportunities, how about finding opportunities with limited budget and hence making DEALS with people who have $?

    • Billy

      You don’t need money to do deals, you need knowledge. If you find a good deal, the money is easy to raise. Problem is, most people who try to raise money DON’T have good deals. They don’t know they don’t have good deals because they don’t have the knowledge.

  21. CW

    Glad you are back Billy, your posts are always insightful, informative and inspirational. I had a new business idea after reading your latest post so thanks for getting my grey matter working! I hope to be reading more of your thoughts this year on Foreverjobless. Thank you.

    • Billy

      Awesome- what’s the new idea?

      • CW

        I had the idea last night but after doing some research today, I’m not sure about it’s feasibility due to some possible legal issues. Once I have investigated a bit further I’ll let you know.

  22. Remco


    Together with your ferrari article this is only the 2nd post that I am reading.
    I don’t read anything else on the web that is similar to your content.
    Do you have any tips/links?

    • Billy

      There’s 4 posts on ForeverJobless so far, did you see the other 2?

      • Remco

        Yes, I definitely read them now! And also listened on mixergy, eventualmillionaire and clicknewz

        next to Tim Ferris, who are some other worldchangers you are following?

  23. Tim Hague

    Hi Billy,
    Wow man, you blow my mind:) Looking forward to hearing how that deal with Tim Ferris worked out for Jayson. You can’t see the ROI in that deal at a glance…it probably takes 2 important things to be able to see it…balls and the ability to look past all the potential blocks and hurdles and just get after it…Love that you are sharing with us again, we are all very lucky.
    Best regards,

  24. Vincent

    Hey Billy,

    great to have you back in blogging. again very inspirational. thanks 🙂

    you mentioned some goals you for your self. may be you could use a little help from berlin, germany.
    i can give you almost all top contacts in germany from publishing houses(books). since they all know my mom who sells there books (for the next ferris selling program 😉
    may be you´ve been thinking in taking a shot at the stock market. a very close friend is always looking for people to partner up with. he is making a living on it for 20years now.
    or you just like to have a contact in germany for sightseeing or partying and new partnerships?
    here i am.
    I once wrote you on facebook to have an interview with me for my motivational project. it would take us like 30-60 minutes.

    let me know if you´re interested.

    • Billy

      Thanks Vincent!

      Can you send an email about your project/interview. Pretty swamped lately, but if I get some free time in the near future I’ll see what I can do.

  25. mardy

    “I’ll probably write a post about this subject in the near future if people are interested.”

    Lol. As if people would not be “interested.”

    I’m definitely interested.

    Thanks for the interesting blog post. My first time coming here and I’m already a subscriber.

    • Billy

      Mardy — okay, it’s official. I’ll be posting on it in the near future 🙂

      Thanks for subscribing!

  26. kevin


    Welcome back. Good post but let me be a voice of dissent.

    The Tim Ferriss deal, while maybe useful to some, seems to me to be a round about way of getting what you really want; a personal connection and extended interaction with potential business partners. I’m sure you already know this, but there are more efficient and inexpensive ways of doing this.

    When I take a closer look at the deal, there are some opportunities to make money “but” those need to be weighed against the opportunity cost of both capital and time in doing so.

    For instance, you’re getting 4,000 hardcovers to sell. The cheapest being $17.49. Most booksellers will get that book wholesale at 40-50% off list-price. I’m not saying they can’t be moved. I am saying you might not get what you thought you would. Another factor to consider is when will the paperback make its appearance. Hopefully you’ve sold your inventory by then.

    I don’t know what Tim Ferriss gets per speech but I do know who some of the $100,000 speakers and if he’s in that group kudos to him. That’s neither here nor there though. You get Tim for two free keynotes. You could go through all you’d have to do to promote him as a speaker and put on an event but I’d rather find an organization that want’s him as a keynote, have them pay me, and let that be how I use those two keynote speeches (if that’s allowed).

    Lastly, you don’t know who will be joining you. What if only two more people do this? What if nobody else does this. Like I said earlier they’re are simpler ways to spend an extended period of time with potential business partners and investors.

    Everything that you’d need to do to make money from this; sell the books, promote the keynotes, go on the trip need to be weighed against what other activities you could be doing with your money and your time. After all, if you’re not a seminar promoter or book seller than those things might not be the best use of your time.

    I do hope that it works out well for Jayson. Maybe after everything is said and done he can give us an after action report.

    I didn’t expect to have that long of a comment it kinda just came out. Anyway, I like the way you think and you’re right. Opportunities are everywhere! I’m glad your back and look forward to reading your future posts.


    • Billy

      Thanks for the well thought out reply Kevin. Regarding the book sales- whether booksellers get it for cheaper than you or not isn’t relavant to the math. The number I included was a conservative number based on the current market for the books.

      Regarding the work you’d have to do to sell promote the keynotes, I agree with you 100% you’d have to factor in how much effort that would be worth to you. It will depend on what your time is worth to you if spent doing other things, and how big of a return you could get on the investment.

  27. DrP

    Again the EV enters the equation. I know you have a poker players background way of thinking, one that looks at each decision from an analytic position of whether the odds are the move will lend positive value on the whole, either because of a high likelihood of modest success or a lower likelihood of extremely profitable outcome. It would be very helpful to have you work through a few decisions you have make with the math of your calculations that go into determining the EV. I try to use this way of thinking in lots of matters, but often the non-financial components confound the issues.

    • Billy

      Hey, long time good to hear from you! You reminded me I still need to make that EV post. There’s a few posts in the pipeline, but I’ll put the EV one next in line! Thanks for the reminder!

  28. Chris Guthrie

    Hey Billy,

    Saw your comment on my blog and stopped by here to see if you started blogging again and surprise – you have!

    In any case, on the investment angle I have always thought it was funny that so many start ups focus on completely irrelevant goals. I understand sacrificing initial profits to grow more quickly before competitors catch on but far too often these companies are being created without any real viable business model in the first place.

    “Oh of our 1,000,000 free users after launching our premium service we’ve found only 150 are willing to pay us $9 a month?”

    In any case – I completely agree with you dumping some of your sites you’re not going to be focused on. I have been selling off some of my smaller assets / shutting down projects to focus entirely on my software business and a few other select projects. Sure I like money coming in from all different sources but I’ve seen what can happen when all of the effort is focused on just one or two key areas instead. (One of my buddies does only that – one website at a time. Build it up – exit. Build it up – exit.)

    Blabbing on too long now but good to see you’re blogging again.

    Peace out,


  29. David

    Hey there terrific website! Does running a blog similar to this require a
    massive amount work? I’ve no understanding of computer programming however I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, should you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject nevertheless I just needed to ask. Thanks!

    • Billy

      The work in running a blog comes from spending the time writing to create content that is valuable. My advice for new blog owners: don’t start a blog unless you plan on creating ridiculously valuable content. Spend the majority of your efforts there in the beginning.

  30. Omar

    Billy, I’m really curious on your perspective on how blogging is not the super saturated market many think it is?


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