Hey! My name is Jimmy. Welcome to Unfollow the Crowd, a resource to empower people who, like me, want to learn how to build an income online and create a life of freedom. If that’s something that sounds attractive to you, then you’ve come to the right place.
My (ambitious) goal is to create a passive income stream that at least matches my salary, by February 2020. But more than that, my aim is to serve you – the reader who may be in a similar position to myself – by sharing my successes and failures, inspiration, experiences and insights, so that you can see what works and what doesn’t.
But just what position am I talking about exactly, that led me to set such a goal?
Well, I’m not going to yap on about myself too much, so don’t worry – I know that no one wants to read an essay on the life and times of Jimmy Newman (although it would be pretty short, to be fair).
But let me briefly explain how I arrived at this point.
As I mentioned, my name is Jimmy Newman, and I’ve lived in the UK for the the entirety of my 32 years on planet earth. I’ve been married to my awesome wife, Carly, for nearly 11 years – yes, I married young! I also have two beautiful children, a girl – Willow, aged 8 – and a boy – Devon, aged 7. My third child is a dog called Bear, who is pretty much a small white cloud with legs.
These guys are a huge part of my inspiration and motivation, and I want to build a life where my business fits in around them, not the other way around.
A few of my favourite things…I love tech, music, weight training, long-boarding, cycling, hiking, video games, all of which I have hardly any time for thanks to my 70+ hour work week.
Oh and one other thing…Reese’s Peanut butter cups, which I always have time for.
Firstly, know that I don’t have much of a formal education. I didn’t go to college or university – family circumstances dictated that I headed out to work pretty much straight out of school at the tender age of 16. As a kid I always had a passion for all things geek, tech, and IT, and I wanted to get straight out and start earning money. So that’s exactly what I did, going to work as an IT tech support for a local college in 2003.
Of course, no one really knows where they want to end up in life at that age. I certainly didn’t.
I lived a fairly sheltered life and as a result grew up with very little self belief that I would ever achieve much more than this. I had absolutely no idea of the opportunities out there, and I carried on in that first job for nearly 10 years with mediocre pay rises, all the while racking up debt just to make it through each month and carry on living.
I made a lot of excuses to myself for not quitting that job earlier, when in reality I should have been pushing forward.
You see, the people I was surrounded by were great friends; we had a lot of fun and I loved them all. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, however. Looking back, it’s almost painful to recall how many times opportunities were discarded because of some imagined reason. They had ‘more job security where they were’ or were somehow ‘better off staying put’. Ouch.
I absorbed all that sentiment, and things could have gone very differently if I had continued down that path.
When Carly became pregnant with our daughter, I knew that something had to change. I was over £16,000 (and climbing) in debt, and had nothing to show for it.
I found a job with a small IT consultancy in my own town, in Essex, and it was a breath of fresh air. It turns out my new employers saw something in me that I never had, and after being thrown in at the deep end on a few client projects – the first of which was on my second day on the job – I quickly discovered that the only thing that had been limiting me previously had been my own self belief, or lack thereof.
I never forget the first real sink or swim moment, a couple of months in. I was sent out, on my own, to a hefty project. I arrived on site to find that we had been vastly undersold on the scope of the project. Not only that, but due a combination of factors, I was unable to contact any of my colleagues for their insight or assistance.
A previous me would have given up there and then, and returned to the office with my tail between my legs.
As it turns out, I was growing up. I grit my teeth, spent an hour or so doing some research on the fly, and then knuckled down and completed the task over the next week.
I learned a few valuable lessons from this episode, but the two that have stuck with me are these. Firstly, most of my limitations were imaginary, self imposed. Secondly, being exposed to that discomfort had shown me that I was capable of more than I had believed.
Those few days on my own taught me a lot about the imagined boundaries that I had imposed on myself, and from that time on I approached my work with a new outlook. It was the start of a new chapter.
I continued to change and grow, and as a member of that small company I learned that with patience and effort, I could get to grips with almost anything that was needed to get the job done.
The months rolled past, and I quickly hit the limit of potential income from that job. The only way I could earn more was by doing more overtime, taking me away from my life and family.
I thought that I needed a higher paid job, and so that’s what I went after, eventually moving into a senior IT Engineer role for a private equity company in central London, where I’m still employed – full disclosure, they are a client of my former employer. Awkward!
After a few months in my new role, we had paid off our debts and I was earning a fairly decent salary. But the realisation soon hit me – all I had done was exchange even more time, energy and freedom for that slightly higher paycheck, which still only just allows us to live payday to payday.
I currently spend a minimum of 12 hours a day, usually more, away from my family, not including times when I’m required to travel to other countries.
And I know I’m not the only one. Here’s the kicker – according to Gallup, the American Management Consulting company, 85% of the worlds workforce feel “emotionally disconnected” from their work, while Forbes magazine commented that “work is more often a source of frustration than one of fulfilment for nearly 90% of the world’s workers”.
I’ve spent a lot of time researching online business strategies and opportunity, and not doing a whole bunch about it – which is absolutely typical of me, and why I’ve determined to turn it around.
Toward the end of last year, 2018, I decided that I’ve had enough. I’m not putting up with it anymore. That realisation got me fired up – it was the shot of adrenaline I needed to get started. I signed up for an online mentorship program and started taking my first steps on a journey of internet entrepreneurship.
So what’s my vision? It’s quite simple, really.
I intend to build a future where I have more time and freedom to spend doing the things that are most important to me, with the family and friends that I love.
I intend to motivate, inspire, and help as many people as possible to find the courage and determination do the same.
I intend to Unfollow the Crowd.