Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Meet Michael Hall: A 38 Year Old Millionaire with Bigger Ambitions

I first met Michael Hall in 2015 and was impressed with his story. He’s a 38-year-old entrepreneur that co-started and sold a software company that vaulted him into the millionaire club. But Michael is much more than that. He’s an avid learner, believes in random acts of kindness, and is a family man.

I asked Michael to share his story with our readers. Although he has accomplished an incredible amount already, he has bigger ambitions as you will learn in this interview.

If you like the interview, please share it on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

1. Michael Hall: tell our viewers a little about your story.

My name is Michael Hall and I am a 38-year-old entrepreneur currently in hibernation.  I previously started and ran an I.T. management and consulting company for a little over a decade.  After selling the company in 2012, I decided to take a few years off to hang out with my kids (3.5 and 1.5 years old).

Michael Hall

After a lot of soul-searching, I came to realize that my next business will revolve around the success of others.  Thus, I recently launched my own financial/personal development coaching service.  My mission is to help as many people as I can achieve financial freedom (quickly!) while ensuring they are living life with a purpose.  Helping people to step into their full potential is what really excites me these days!

As a related resource, I started a blog several months ago – FinanciallyAlert.com.  At this site, I talk about personal finance, early retirement, and tracks my financials with full transparency.

2. Please trace your professional journey until now.

I grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs and went to University in San Diego (UCSD).  After graduating with an Economics degree, I realized I didn’t know what to do!  So, I decided to flip things around a bit and pursued a career in technology.

After working at an I.T. company for a little over a year, the “Dot.com boom” fell apart.  My company began to implode quickly, so a couple of my friends and I decided to make the jump out on our own.

We grew the business steadily for over a decade, during which time I had the opportunity to wear many different hats, including – Systems and Network Administrator, L3 Support Tech, IT Manager, Technical Project Manager, CFO, and President.

3. Tell us more about your work right now and what made you choose this path.

At the moment, I am a stay-at-home dad which is incredibly fulfilling.  However, I know I’ve been called to do more and had multiple epiphanies during a couple of Tony Robbin’s seminars I attended recently.

So, I recently decided that I’d like to pursue life coaching with an emphasis on personal finance.  I would be so fulfilled to help others grow past their own limiting beliefs.

4. Tell us about the challenges you faced while carving out this path.

I’ve always had a strong faith that things happen for a reason.  But, sometimes it’s harder to see the bigger picture.  When I was selling my company, it was tough because I needed to stick around for the transition to ensure my team was okay, but my heart was elsewhere.  What I came to realize was that I needed to put forth my best effort regardless and extract the juice out of every experience.

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5. How has your journey affected you on a personal level?

The journey has certainly been fun and I can’t really complain, but there were certainly challenging times.  Taking a leap of faith and having the courage to pull the trigger even when the outcome is uncertain is critical to moving yourself to the next level.  Behind this leap of faith are where some of life’s greatest treasures lay hidden.

There is a shortcut however: it’s simply following your heart to pursue your passion and purpose.  Once you figure that out, find other people in the field that have accomplished a lot, and then model their success.

6. What are your goals and aspirations for the future?

I have a big goal of hitting $10M of net worth by the time I’m 50.  I’m 38 now, so I’ve got a little over a decade to get this figured out.  However, being that my next business will be coaching and helping other people, I feel like reaching this goal is much more important than just reaching it for myself.

If I’m truly helping and making a genuine impact on others, it will be reflected in my net worth over time.  In fact, it’s quite exciting!

7. What do you like to do with your free time?

I love to fish in my spare time.  Luckily my whole family enjoys it too, so we’ll enjoy family trips to the mountains to do some stream fishing in the summer.  I’ll also got out on my own to absorb nature alone sometimes.

There numerous lakes in San Diego with a healthy population of largemouth bass.  I also enjoy the challenge of fly fishing in the Sierra Nevada’s.

8. What are some website or blogs that inspire you?

Well, other than this awesome one (weretiredearly.com), I typically frequent sites like:

(My entire list can be found here)

9. What’s your favorite piece of technology you use?

This might sound a bit strange, but it’s my scanner!  Yup, my Fujitsu document scanner has changed my life for the better by eliminating the majority of paper in my life and taking me paperless.  In fact, I wrote a post about it here – How to Eliminate Financial Clutter For Good!

10. Where has been your favorite place to travel and why?

Oh this is a tough one.  I’ve been blessed to travel a lot.  But, if I had to choose one, it would probably be San Sebastian, Spain.  This is located in the Northern coastal part of Basque country.  It has a stunning coastline, great weather, beautiful architecture, and the food here is divine.

It is the second city with the most Michelin stars per capita in the world (only behind Kyoto, Japan).  Life here is good and meant to be enjoyed.  I also love that you can walk everywhere, or take public transportation when needed.  Restaurants and tapas bars are open super late and there’s always something new to feast on (can you tell I love food?!).

11. How can our viewers learn more about your story?

The best place to learn more about my story is on my blog’s about me page.

About this Blog

We hope you enjoyed this inspiring interview with Michael Hall. Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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How I quickly built a Twitter Following: Crowdfire interviews Steve Miller

In the past year, I’ve successfully built my Twitter following from 600 to over 24,600 at the time of this post (December 2015). Additionally, I increased my blog visits by 2300%.

This success caught the eye of Crowdfire, a company that produces a tool I use to help build my Twitter followers. They were intrigued by the growth but more importantly, they liked my story of early retirement and wanted to post an interview that explains my story and how I’ve used Crowdfire to build a community of Twitter followers.

The Crowdfire Interview

Here is the story, I hope you enjoy it.

Crowdfire interviews Steve Miller

Direct link to story:
http://blog.crowdfireapp.com/meet-steve-miller-driving-app-downloads-using-crowdfire/

Finally, here is a video showing how I use Crowdfire. If you like my story, you can also follow me on Twitter.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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Why it’s important to have Twitter Followers (and how to get them)

Just a year ago, I had 630 Twitter followers. At the time of this writing (November 2015), I have 22,600 Twitter followers. By growing your Twitter followers, you will get your message out to more people. This will result in more sales (if you are a business) or more visibility and social clout if you are doing it from a personal perspective.

Twitter statistics

So how did I go from 630 followers in November 2014 to over 22,600 a year later?

Related post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

Follow Others

The first key is to follow other Twitter accounts, especially people who have similar interests as you or to what you are selling. When you follow someone, they are more likely to follow you back. I try to follow about 500 new people per day.

Unfollow Others

If you begin following someone and they are not following you back, consider unfollowing them. There are times when you will want to follow people who are not following you back. For example, you may follow business mentors, famous people, or others that are unlikely to follow you back. That’s totally fine and it makes sense in those scenarios. But for the most part, unfollow those that don’t follow back.

Unfollow Inactive Twitter Accounts

Some people create a Twitter account but never use it. If they are not using it, they will never see your message, so there’s no need to continue following them. My rule of thumb is that if someone is not active in Twitter for a month, I unfollow them.

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Follow Competitor’s Followers

If you are selling a product, it’s a good idea to find out who is following your competitor and follow those people. If they were interested enough in your competitor’s tweets, they are probably open to seeing yours.

Follow People with Similar Interests

If you are selling a product that helps with productivity, you can easily find Twitter accounts that follow productivity experts. By following those people, they will probably be interested in your product since it solves an issue they are already interested in.

Tweet Often with Good Content

I normally tweet about once an hour and I tweet articles that I am interested in. I figure if I find a cool article, my Twitter followers will also enjoy that article. By streaming hourly Tweets, you will build fans that want to see more of your tweets.

Twitter Automation

If you made it this far into this post, you are probably scratching your head saying “how can you follow 500 people a day and tweet every hour?”. The secret is automation. I spend about 30 to 45 minutes a day building my Twitter followers and setting up automated tweets that fire every hour.

I use a tool called Crowdfire to follow 500 people a day, unfollow those that have not followed me back, unfollow inactive Twitter accounts, and to find new followers with my interests or from a competitor. Crowdfire costs me $9.99 a month and is well worth the cost.

Crowdfire

To tweet every hour of the day, I use a tool called ViralContentBuzz. ViralContentBuzz allows you to post your own articles for others to tweet. In exchange, you can find interesting articles that others have posted and schedule them to tweet on whatever schedule you decide (I do it hourly).

ViralContentBuzz

ViralContentBuzz has a free edition (that’s the one I use) and it allows you to build up credits by tweeting other people’s articles. Since I am doing this hourly, it gives me plenty of credits to allow other people to tweet my articles.

Further Reading

If you really want to maximize visitors to your website or blog, there are other strategies you can use as well. For example, you will need to implement good SEO strategies, post your articles on different distribution platforms, and market your blog. If you want more information on that, see an article I recently wrote entitled “WordPress SEO: 10 Tips to Boost your Google Ranking“.

Also, check out these success stories I’ve been a part of for driving more blog visits.

Conclusion

By following the tips in this article, you will begin gaining more Twitter followers and driving more traffic to your website or blog. If you’ve discovered other strategies that have worked, please share them in the comments below.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

How to Accomplish More (Dream Big Baby!)

Throughout the years, I’ve met lots of people who dream big. Here are some common dreams I hear:

  • I am wrapped up in a career I hate, I would just love to [job they would love to have]
  • I have a great idea for a product, I bet it will do really great
  • I would love to retire early and travel
  • It would be great to save a million dollars and only work on things I’m passionate about
  • If only I could become a scratch golfer [or similar sports-related goals]
  • I want to work for myself and plan out my own day

I’ve met lots of people who set these types of goals. Some make them happen and some don’t. Meet an interesting couple that made their dreams come true:

Dream Big: Bob and Robin Charlton

Bob and Robin Charlton were in their late 20’s, in debt and working in jobs that no longer excited them. They had a dream to travel more. But how could they do it? They had an epiphany. They decided that if their dream was to come true, they had to put a plan in place to make it happen. Here’s how they did it:

  1. They dared to dream big: Retire within 15 years
  2. They set goals for accomplishing the dream
  3. Robin retooled her skills so that she could get a better paying job
  4. They attacked their debt and built an emergency fund
  5. They invested every extra cent into index fund investments
  6. They reduced their expenses and rented out part of their home to bring in additional income

Fast forward 15 years later, Bob and Robin retired at age 43. Now they travel to exotic locations– for many months at a time. They are still very frugal and live on 4% per year of their investments — a safe withdrawal rate that will last them the rest of their lives without the need to work again. Dream big, it pays off!

Bob wrote a book entitled “How to Retire Early” that tells their story in detail– it is very inspirational. If you want to see their travels, check out their website.

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Dreaming Big Without Committed Goals

I could mention another 5 or so people I’ve known over the years that have shared their dream with me and I’ve seen them convert that dream to reality. However, I could tell you about another 50 or so people who have shared their dream but never saw it through. Here’s why:

  • It must be a shared dream. If you’re married, your family must buy into it or it will not work.
  • Dreaming is not enough, you also need goals. You must have a plan for making it happen. You have to set “dream big” goals and create a list of tasks you do every day that supports that goal.
  • You have to analyze everything. Once you begin working on daily tasks that support your goal, you will find that some things work and some don’t. You must build in the time to analyze everything you do and adjust until you find the right formula for what works.
  • Conquering big dreams takes a lot of work.  If it were easy, everyone would do it. It’s very hard and time intensive to your reach your goals, so be prepared to sacrifice to achieve it.

Conclusion

I hope this post has inspired you to dream big and to figure out what goals you must put into place to make them a reality. If you’re working towards a “dream big” goal (or have already accomplished one), please share your story in the comments below.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

Dont Worry Be Happy

Don’t Worry Be Happy

How many times have you worried about things that never came to pass? I call these ghost worries and I’ve had my share in the past. As the Bobby McFerrin song goes “Don’t Worry Be Happy“. I have to admit, I enjoy being positive and happy. It’s much better than the alternative. Here’s how I approach it.

Be Happy Free Your Mind

Be Happy: Free Your Mind

We all get worked up about things in life. Our job is a big contributor. We think about all of the things that can go wrong with customers, peers, and management. If you are running your own business, you are probably worrying about revenue, paying your employees, the next sale, and your exit strategy.

When we built our business, I had a laundry list of things I regularly worried about that never came true. If only I would have had the fortitude to put those thoughts to the back of my mind, it would have saved a lot of strife. Fast forward 16 years after I started my business, I realize how unfounded that worry was. I am happy, it all worked out OK.

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Since then, I’ve learned to free my mind of worry. If worry begins to bottle up, here is how I address it:

  • Find a quiet spot and sit with my eyes closed
  • Focus on removing all negative thoughts, be mindful of happy thoughts
  • Stay still for 10 minutes practicing removing the negative thoughts

Be happy by hanging out with positive people

Be Happy: Hang Out with Positive People

People can bring drama into your life or they can be incredibly encouraging. Why deal with drama? Life’s too short. So how do you find people that are positive and happy? Start by being positive yourself. Here’s how:

  • When you see people, give them a smile and say hello
  • Do something special for someone without expecting anything in return
  • Listen intently when talking with friends, put your phone away
  • Provide advice when asked and be supportive
  • Be truly happy for your friends when great things happen in their life

You’ll find that the more positive energy you emit, the more that is returned to you. Before long, you will be attracting only positive people, so the negative people will simply fall by the wayside.

Be Happy and dont worry about things outside of your control

Don’t Worry About Things Outside of Your Control

We all have spears of control. For example, I can control my health by not smoking, exercising, and eating healthy. However, some things are totally outside of my control. For example, I can’t control taxes, how a particular senator votes or how a specific person feels about me (in fact, it’s really none of my business how someone else thinks of me, it’s their own personal thought that belongs only to them).

For things I can’t control, I don’t spend time worrying about them. Complaining to my neighbor or friend about taxes, the government or a rumor I heard about someone is a waste of time. I can’t change it, therefore, I’m not going to spend energy worrying about it.

Instead, I spend my time focusing on things I can control: my health, being happy, my financial situation, and my relationships. Those are things that deserve my attention.

Tell Me About Your Experiences

Drop me a comment to let me know how you’ve focused on being happy and becoming worry free. What tips have you find that worked well? How has it affected your life?

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

 

 

The American Dream is Alive and Well

The Money Mine is a personal finance blogger who blogs about financial independence and retiring early (FI/RE). Many of his readers are focusing on frugal living to become financially independent so he wanted a different perspective from an entrepreneur that has lived the American dream.

He asked if I would write a guest blog that explains how I built a software company, sold it, and retired.

The Money Mine: The American Dream is Alive and Well

Live the American Dream

Without further ado, here is the article, I hope you enjoy it:

http://www.themoneymine.com/early-retirement-from-the-sale-of-a-multi-million-dollar-business-with-steve-miller/

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

What do you think of these financial independence training articles? Leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts!

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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I sold my Business 6 Years ago Today

Today marks the 6 year anniversary of selling my business and reaching financial independence.  We closed the deal on September 11, 2009, I was nervous about closing on September 11 because of the 2001 World Trade Center disaster but decided that this could be positive. A new way of remembering 9/11.

Celebrating the selling of the business

Leading up to the sell was a bit unnerving. Even though I built the business with the end in mind, I still felt like I was selling my baby. Should I keep it a few more years and continue to grow it? What happens if a larger competitor comes along and squashes us?

These are the kind of emotions you feel when you are approached about selling your business. You feel a pain in your gut, a nagging voice in the back of your head saying “Am I making the right decision?”  “What will I do with my days?”,

Fast Forward 6 Years after I sold my Business

Reflecting back, I had fears about selling.

Will my Product Continue to Grow?

It has grown much faster than if I had not sold it. The acquiring company has more resources to commit to it and has done a great job increasing the market share.

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Will my Employees Thrive once I Leave?

Only one of my original employees currently work for the acquiring company. If I had foreseen that when I was contemplating selling, I would have freaked out. However, that actually worked out to be positive. Each former employee has an even better job, making more money and with more responsibility. So it was just a natural progression of their career path.

Will I Get Bored Being Retired?

I thought I would really miss being in the corporate world but the reverse is true. I love being able to craft my day the way I wish. I can exercise in the middle of the day, golf when it’s less crowded and volunteer when I feel inspired.

I can also work on projects that really inspire me without the need for a steady paycheck. I’m now developing mobile apps in my spare time and blogging a lot. My wife and I also travel a lot. I’m not bored at all.

Conclusion

If you’re an entrepreneur that has built a business than can provide financial independence and are faced with a decision to sell, believe me, it works out just fine!

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

 

Get a free copy of the Appreneur Playbook

Appreneur Handbook by Charlyn Keating

Although I’m retired from the corporate life, I create mobile apps as my side hustle.

Creating a mobile app does not require that you know programming but it does require that you understand the app market, how to drive downloads, and how to make your app easy to find in the app store.

I’m excited to tell you about a new book that just hit the Amazon bookstore yesterday. It is by a fellow appreneur, Charlyn Keating.

Charlyn interviews the top app entrepreneurs (appreneurs) and pulls all of their advice into easily digestible content that educates you on all of the ins and outs of mobile app development and marketing.

Oh, did I mention the book is free through Monday, August 24? If you’re reading this after Monday, it’s worth the cost because it is 147 pages of how-to advice from the top appreneurs.

I personally helped Charlyn edit the contents of the book, so I can highly recommend it if you are interested in app development.

Get the book here: The Appreneur Playbook: Game-Changing Mobile App Marketing Advice from the Pros

Related article: How to Build a Product Website for your App

About this Blog

Steve Miller built a software company, sold it and retired in 2012. Steve now enjoys blogging, traveling and staying fit. He creates mobile apps in his spare time. If you enjoy lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology, follow Steve’s We Retired Early blog.

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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App Guy Podcast: Living the Dream of Entrepreneurship & How to Sell a Company

Many of us have wondered what we would do with ourselves if we had the means to retire early. What would you do with your time? How would you fill your day?  Would entrepreneurship be part of your plan?

If you ever wondered what it would be like to retire early, you can find out by listening to a podcast that was just published by The App Guy Podcast.

Steve Miller - Retired Early

Steve Miller – Entrepreneur

Here are just a few of the topics covered:

  • How we built the business and planned our exit strategy
  • How our company was acquired
  • How I spend my time now that I’m retired
  • What freedoms do early retirement bring?
  • Is entrepreneurship possible after retirement?

Listen to the podcast

Ready to listen to the podcast? Click the link below:

http://www.theappguy.co/the-app-guy-podcast/2015/6/12/tagp314-steve-miller 


 Our Apps

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