Why I Gave Up Everything I Own During A Global Pandemic By Kirsten McKinney with Mike Black
Mike Black gave up everything he owned during a global pandemic, including his seven-figure business, and went homeless…
Now, you might think he’s crazy, but he is just really passionate about encouraging entrepreneurs to chase their dreams. With the right mindset, a lot of hard work, and sacrifice, he’s convinced that anyone can reinvent themselves and make their dreams a reality.
That’s why he put everything on the line to prove it.
At 28 years old, Mike has started multiple companies with his most recent business, a software development agency called Told Media, grossing over seven figures in revenue. He’s also made a lot of mistakes in business over the years, including a couple failed tech startups. He learned things the hard way as an entrepreneur, but he said, “I wear my ‘L’s’ proudly because they got me to where I am today, and if my mistakes can help someone else succeed, then it was worth it.”
That’s what inspired him to start the Million Dollar Comeback.
Mike Black left behind his money, his belongings, his business, his apartment, his portfolio, and his connections, and went homeless to document his journey of building a new $1M business… starting from NOTHING. His goal was to show people that if he can go from homeless to building a successful business in one year, that means their life can change no matter what their circumstances are, too!
He’s four months into the project, and wow, it’s been an amazing journey so far. He says, “I always hoped this project would help other people, but from the very first day, this project impacted me in ways I never expected.”
One of his favorite moments so far was actually from his first night of the project.
As it was getting dark, Mike still had nowhere to stay that night, and he had no money. He was about to throw in the towel. He had been walking the streets of Austin, TX, looking for work all day in the middle of the July heat. Mike called businesses, contacted people online, anything he could to secure work or somewhere to stay but every attempt was unsuccessful. Without a vehicle or a way to get from one side of town to another, he couldn’t even flip items off of Craigslist to make some quick money.
As Mike got ready to go to sleep on a bench in the middle of downtown, something happened that he will never forget.
At 11:00 p.m., a complete stranger reached out to him through a couch-surfing app and offered him a place to stay for the night. Mike couldn’t hold back his tears, completely overwhelmed by his generosity towards a complete stranger. He drove 30 minutes to pick him up, brought him dinner, and let him stay with him at his RV that night.
Mike ended up renting a bed from him for the next month, while he took on any and every odd job he could. That first week, Mike hardly ate as he calculated every decision by the penny. There were times he didn’t even have enough money to pay for the $1 bus ticket and had to sleep at the office.
Mike made his first money flipping items on Craigslist by brokering deals in the free section. He realized that even though he didn’t have a car, that didn’t mean he couldn’t sell other people’s items and split the profit with them 50/50. In the first three days, he made $300 in profit flipping items for other people, mostly couches on Craigslist. He also got a telemarketing job, found virtual assistant work on Upwork, and did whatever he could to generate some cash flow and get back on his feet.
For that entire first month, Mike literally ate canned beans for every meal, trying to make enough money just to pay his bills and get by. Mike said, “There was nothing luxurious about how I was living, but I knew I was setting myself up for success in the long game, and that was exciting.”
Mike eventually helped Isaac sell his RV, and he moved into a house with extremely low rent where he shared a small room with another guy. “Once again, not luxurious, but success is about making the necessary sacrifices today so you can have a better tomorrow,” Mike said.
Four Months Into The Project
Mike is four months into the project now, and he’s come a long way from that guy on the street bench! He set up a house for e-commerce business owners, which lets him not only live rent-free for the next eighteen months but also make a profit every month. He is grossing $5,000 a month in revenue between that and his new marketing agency, and he just launched an e-commerce brand, which is how he hopes to ultimately reach the $1M goal. Within a week of launching, he’s already generated $1,000 in sales without marketing!
“Going from being homeless to living rent-free in an awesome space for the next eighteen months, all within a four-month time span has been a pretty incredible journey. This is exactly why I wanted to do this project to show people how quickly their life can change, even when circumstances look hopeless,” Mike said.
Advice To Entrepreneurs
When asked if he’s afraid of failing, Mike gave this advice to entrepreneurs:
A lot of entrepreneurs have asked me if I’m afraid of falling and hurting my “reputation” if I don’t hit the $1M mark by July 10, 2021. Honestly? No, absolutely not. Failure is a huge learning opportunity. It’s never something I shy away from. What’s important is that I’m learning more than I ever have doing this project, and I’ve been able to help people with their businesses. The more people I can help, the bigger the win!
Focus on the above the impact you want to make, the people you want to help, and the learning and growth that comes with putting yourself out there. Never let the fear of failure play a role in your business decisions. Even if you fail, you’ll still come out further ahead than the people that never tried! The moment you don’t care about other people’s judgment is the moment your personal and business growth takes off!
Mike Black’s series can be viewed for free online! Go to mikeblack.co/youtube for weekly business tips and updates on the Million Dollar Comeback journey.
About Mike Black
Mike Black is on a mission to prove that anyone can reinvent themselves during these challenging times, so he started the Million Dollar Comeback YouTube series. He gave up all of his belongings, his network, his money, and now has 12 months to make $1 million starting with nothing but one pair of clothes and a cell phone. Mike is also the founder and CEO of Told Media, a seven-figure software development agency focused on helping companies build better software for less.
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