About Us – Here’s My Story
I’m Brad Stephens (for those of you who don’t know me) and I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and lived there for around 1 year before we moved to Botswana, another country in Africa. After 6 years there, we moved to Zambia (yes, you guessed it – another country in Africa). We lived there for around 5 years and finally moved back to South Africa when I was 12 years old. This time to Cape Town and I have lived here ever since!
I got into internet marketing a couple of years ago just wanting to make some extra cash. It’s funny, most people seek a way to make money online but this lifestyle actually found me (kinda)! I was browsing a forum that had nothing to do with making money online. It was actually a gaming forum and I stumbled upon a thread by another user who said he was making over $50 per day using this specific method. At the time, I had no idea that making money online was even a viable option to make a living. I was still at school and decided that an extra $50 per month wouldn’t do any harm. It’s funny how your mind thinks when you’re still young right?
Anyways – I gave it a go and my earnings started to rise day by day. It was a blackhat method, so it wasn’t sustainable. I was actually one of the top earners on a PPD (Pay Per Download) site for a couple of months. On my best day I made over $400. As the saying goes, all good things come to an end (especially blackhat methods)! I had scripts running for me and everything, I was working 1 hour a day to make over $100 per day which was awesome seeing as I was still at school. Anyways – I left that in the dust to pursue something more sustainable and whitehat.
I found the blackhatworld forum and frequented on there for a long time, with little success unfortunately. I even found someone on there and hired him for $1000 to mentor me on everything related to SEO. This was money I had saved up from my previous blackhat venture. Within 3 weeks, I was ranking on page 1 for the keyword “FarmVille Cheats” (yes, this is when FarmVille was blowing up) and I was promoting a ClickBank FarmVille Cheats product. That was bringing in a steady $50+ a day for awhile. So here is when the *facepalm* moment comes in. I was young and naive, and my mentor had registered my domain with his registrar and he forgot to renew the domain. That was the end of my FarmVille cheats income!
After that, I took a bit of a break from internet marketing. After all, it was just a hobby for me and I had my last year of school to wrap up. I finished school and went onto university. My first year at university I partied a whole lot… A lot. Nothing quite like your first year of freedom and independence, right?
At the beginning of my second year at university (2012), I decided to get back into internet marketing and see what I could do. I’m not quite sure how I got into what I was doing, but over the course of around 1 month I was starting to pull in $100+ on AdSense. I did this for a few months and that is when I came across a thread on the WarriorForum by a dude called Jarrett Stevenson. He was offering training and mentoring on how to create products. He had some solid testimonials and I almost didn’t believe what I was getting myself into. Anyways – I took the leap of faith.
One week later I had put together my product on how I was doing $100+ on AdSense (it’s still available somewhere on the WF) and around 4 weeks after that I launched and did around $50,000 on my first launch. I couldn’t believe it (Thanks Jarrett!). I think he still has my testimonial video on his channel with proof of this, if I find the video someday I’ll link it to this page so you guys can check it out…
I made the classic mistake (seriously, every success book warns you of this) of taking a break and not following my momentum. I sold off my sites making money off AdSense and took a “break” that ended up being longer than expected. I was still studying at university and the extra money was fun at the time.
I got lazy!
Eventually, I got bored and had to start doing some internet marketing again. This time it was towards the end of my third year at university and I got in CPA marketing. After 2 months I had my best day of $450 per day. That was when I knew I was onto something!
I rode that wave right into 2014. This was my final year of university. I started selling T-Shirts online too and have done well over 6 figures selling shirts over the past few months. I then decided it was time I started getting into software development which I thought would be a fun challenge for me. My first piece of software was amazing, I got an awesome JV partner and the day before we were set to launch Facebook started waving their banhammer and banned A LOT of software developers from Facebook for their pieces of software being against FB’s Terms of Service. We unfortunately had to call off the launch. Months of preparation and money invested – down the drain. It was a tough pill to swallow but it was a lesson I needed to learn. I had created a tool that was slightly against their TOS – and we just couldn’t release it. Now before I do anything I make sure it is within any platform’s TOS!
I picked myself up, went to the gym and blew off a whole lot of steam. During that session, I had an amazing idea for a piece of software and that went on to do multiple 6 figures in sales (silver lining?). It was a powerful moment for me. I realised that failure truly is a stepping stone to success. You cannot succeed without failure.
Since then I have continued developing my income streams, launched this brand and continued working on other software projects (which is what I love doing)! I’ve made some incredible friends along the way and I have no plans to stop growing!
Towards the end of 2014 I was busy wrapping up my degree in my final year of college. Final exams were a massive pain in the ass because they seriously drew me away from my time I would normally dedicate to my business. Never-the-less, I balanced what I could and I now hold a business degree in financial management.
It’s a fulfilling achievement (considering I almost dropped out in my second year to pursue internet marketing full time).
At the beginning of this year I moved into the city and into my dream apartment and 2015 is my first year doing internet marketing full time.
A quick update is as of July 2015 I have reached $1,000,000 in sales in my first year of selling software. I only released my first software last year. Perhaps I can do a breakdown of that at some point for you and how I managed to do so. It was certainly an interesting road 🙂
Welcome to SelfMade Mindset!
To your self-made success,
– Brad Stephens