First, a BIG thank you for coming to our blog! We are super excited that you are here. My name is Michael Rayburn, the founder of this site. This website is very special to me for many reasons, and we really hope it will become something special for you as well! I wanted to tell you a little about myself so you can have a background story and we can become a little more personal on the site! I have personally always enjoyed hearing stories about people’s lives. Even at a young age I would sit and listen to stories. I feel as though everybody has something to offer. I’m very excited to also hear from you and what your story and thoughts are!
A little about me and my journey… After I finished High School I joined the Army! I wanted to get paid to jump out of airplanes. So, I did! I had 29 jumps over 5 years. Great times with a great bunch of people! During this time, I met my wife and soon after we married. We also have two amazing kids. At this stage in our lives, we survived off only $320 every two weeks. That had to pay for everything except our car payment. We felt lucky to have a place to live ($350 a month) and food to eat. Even at this time it was a meager living to try and support my family. All good things come to an end at some point! So guess what? I ended up getting hurt, and I couldn’t continue to do my job.
After I was medically discharged from the Army, I found Ebay by a crazy chance! I did pretty well there for a while. I was selling about 14k monthly with most of my sales being in the $35 range. It was a little bit of a challenge. I had to learn organization on a different level that I have ever seen it before. It was a wonderful learning experience. The curve was pretty steep, but if you were willing to climb it, the reward was there.
A little later I decided I needed a real job and started as a Restaurant manager. It was a good experience as well. I had to deal with about 35-45 people on busy nights, on top of doing almost 18k in sales in one day. So, all kinds of people with all kinds of problems. It put my problems solving skills to work that is for sure.
I decided that I really wanted to open up a jewelry store, but that would take a lot more money than they were going to pay a restaurant manager. So I took off a couple of months to decide how I was going to do it. I decided that I should drive a semi. I knew I could clear about $1200-$1700 a week and sometimes more if I could get through the training and lease a truck to be treated like an owner operator. So after about 13 weeks of classroom and hands on training I was able to lease a truck. It started a little slow but after about 6 months I was on a dedicated fleet and making pretty decent money. I averaged about $1700 a week after taxes. It was a hard life compared to what most people are used to. It gets lonely on the road, so your phone becomes your life line.
Driving trucks was an awesome life experience, until one day it all came to a halt. So, I was a part of this program where after someone completed all the mandatory training, I would get an additional driver for 2-4 weeks. Majority of the drivers were great. I did run across one crazy one, I seriously considered dropping him off at a truck stop. He was a very closed-minded person, almost no life experience in anything and full of opinions. Many of them were highly offensive to be polite. The part of my story ends when I received an additional diver who only needed to finish up the last leg of her training that I provided. I had a bad feeling about the situation from the beginning, but I agreed to it because I would have been stuck for a week without a second driver (which means I would have to complete all the driving of two drivers by myself). A few days into the drive, she ends up falling asleep at the wheel…. After passing 6 trucks stops in 10 miles (yea, a lot of opportunities there). While I was in the back sleeping, she drove over very high embankment that almost cost me my life. This was blow for sure. A lot of recovery had to happen.
The good news was I was saving for the jewelry store, so I had money. Not as much as I would need for the 3 years of recovery but enough with the additional insurance to get me through. It was this time that I began really learning jewelry. It was what helped me get through the mentally hard times.
Fast forward about 4-5 years past the date of the accident, a lot of jewelry shows, building and gathering of supplies and jewelry – I was finally able to open my jewelry store. It was actually here that I fell in love with marketing. I had always been fond of it before. However asking questions like why does one Google My Business (maps of google for local businesses) sit higher than others? This was the start of asking more and more questions. I can tell you that in Internet Marketing that the questions never end. It’s almost like a rabbit hole, each question keeps splitting into a different direction. The more questions you ask and understand the more question’s you’ll have that still need to be asked and answered!
After successfully ranking our jewelry website, many friends asked me to rank their sites – and we did. It was this that made me realize internet marketing is really the place that I wanted to be in. I wanted to help as many people as we could to point them in the right direction.
At this point we had a really great time in the jewelry industry, but I had fallen in love with ranking websites and the local maps section, as well as the challenges that come with it. From about 2015 to current we have done: affiliate marketing, local SEO and national SEO.
So, this is my life. I’m still married to my wonderful wife, and my children are both grown now. I even have a granddaughter, and I’m only 45 years old!
If I were to ever quote Tony Robins, I would say “We tend to overestimate what we can do in one year, but under estimate what we can do in ten” Over the last 25 years, I have been in a one bedroom apartment with my wife, daughter and son, to the point that I live in now owning a 8,200 sq ft home that sits on 2 acers of land. One can accomplish so much in a year, but we have to change and grow, and in those changes, it transforms our life into riches in many ways.
As a disclaimer, I must say that we will do some affiliate marketing, because we believe that it is important. We can’t be the only source out here for good information. We can tell you that we will only promote things that we feel as a member of our community that you could benefit from it. You will notice that we give away a lot of free information that in other places they make you pay for it. We need to make a living just like everyone else, but we also have some honor involved here and want to stand behind what we are supporting and believe in.