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Turning Passion
Into Profit

Written Sunday 08/19/07 by Joe Rossini

Success stories in print and audio from all walks of life seem to draw my attention like a magnet. I really enjoy reading or listening how individuals overcome obstacles and make their dreams come true. This past week I was totally inspired by an article I read in Fast Company Magazine titled Girl Power. This article is described with a headline by the author Chuck Salter who writes:

NO RICH RELATIVES? NO PROFESSIONAL MENTORS?
NO PROBLEM.
ASHLEY QUALLS, 17, HAS BUILT A MILLION-DOLLAR WEBSITE.
SHE'S LOL (laughing out loud) ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.

After borrowing $8 from her Mom to register the domain name for her website www.whateverlife.com, Ashley launched her site with high octane passion as her only resource. According to the Fast Company article, she began dabbling in website design eight years ago as a nine year old. She created her site in 2004 as a way to show off her website design work to others. She designed templates in HTML for other teenage girls to easily cut and paste into their MYSPACE web pages and found a tremendous demand for her work. She supplied a product at the exact time that one was needed and created a company from ground zero.

Without any business professionals in her family or any connections whatsoever, Ashley was able to turn her passion into profits. She created a product that teenage girls wanted; gave it away for free; bartered her web design skills with web hosting companies to pay for server time; and is now cashing in on the Internet advertising revenue created by Google AdSense to the tune of $70,000 a month. Once she began generating that kind of cash, Ashley was savvy enough to hire consultants to teach her how to be a businessperson. She grew up real fast in the world of business and should be extremely proud of her accomplishments.

According to the article, her site is ranked 349th out of 20 million websites on the Internet. She’s attracting 7 million visitors and 60 million page views a month. That is a staggering amount of web traffic. Ashley’s story should be an inspiration for every person – young and old in this world with a dream to succeed.

Conventional Wisdom would view a story such as Ashley’s as some fable that only happens in fairytale land. However, that’s the greatest part about all success stories. They happen to real people who make good choices and take advantage of opportunities using good timing. MySpace.com is a phenomena all of its own. The fact that Ashley seized the opportunity to ride the coattails of this phenomenon is similar to the accessory manufacturers who ride the coattails of the i-pod phenomena. These opportunities are out there for the picking.

Our question this week is how much time do you invest, reading about success stories of others? If not a lot, I would suggest you ramp up your success story reading regimen – especially if you are a teen or less than 30 years old, and need to divert all that pent up energy toward some worthy dreams and goals. Success stories can serve as the positive lifeblood of the mind. Watching and learning how others are able to overcome all obstacles to succeed can provide the strength and perseverance to try to achieve some worthy goals as well.

Too often individuals feel they are stuck in a rut. That happens to all of us in life. But when you believe that you can do no better than to stay in that rut, you are selling yourself short. While everyone doesn’t have an interest in web design like Ashley did, it’s important to develop interests where there’s a need and a market to capitalize on. That’s of course, if you are looking to turn your passion into a profit. And why not turn your passion into a profit? Doing what you truly love to do for a living is everyone’s dream in life. Just don’t pick a passion for a career that is either oversupplied or has little or no demand. That’s a sure prescription for lifelong frustration.

Today, the Internet is definitely making millionaires out of average individuals both young and old, who may not have stood a chance before to become wealthy. Don’t expect to get rich overnight. Just keep your weather vanes visible and try to capitalize on the strong winds that companies like Apple or MySpace provide. Get your kite up in the air at the right time and perhaps you can ride those winds like a very bright young lady named Ashley. It could be the ride of your life!


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