Want the Short Version?
Born . . . School . . . Crappy Jobs . . . Flight School . . . Airline Pilot . . . Affiliate Marketer . . . SEO Consultant . . . SEO Agency Owner . . . Married . . . Speaker . . . Entrepreneur . . . Business Consultant.
Phew! At 34 years old I’ve packed a lot in!
Want the “What? Who? How?” Version?
Up until a few years ago, I was an Airline Pilot working for a major UK airline flying 200 people a time across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
I was living the high life and getting paid incredibly well to do it! But it wasn’t to last.
I grew up on the outskirts of London with a childhood and school life completely absent of anything to do with computers and the Internet at all.
Growing up, I wanted to be a professional footballer (that’s soccer to my American cousins!) and live the high life doing what I loved. And best of all, I wouldn’t need good grades to do it – which was handy, because I was not what you would call academic!
At one point I was playing football 7 days a week I loved it so much. I started to get noticed amongst various youth teams, and the path to becoming professional became very real.
Until one day it all came to an end as a car shoved me off my moped and I was seriously injured. I still carry the injuries to this day !!
It took months to recover, but things just weren’t right afterwards and I couldn’t go a full match without ending up with acute pain.
And so came the crappy jobs.
You think you’ve worked some lame jobs you hate? Try this resumé of crap…
• Pizza Delivery
• Hotel Cleaner
• And my all-time low – London cab Cleaner at weekends (think bodily fluids)
Yes, when I left school I was qualified to do little else. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but it’s a pretty depressing place.
I had a dream though. I wanted to be an Airline Pilot, and after about a year of applying to sponsorship programs I finally got into one which would give me my Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).
3 years later and I was a Pilot flying people round the world for a living.
Flying pays well. It pays really well. But it’s got one fatal flaw – there are lots of medical conditions which can mean you lose your licence.
After a friend and colleague fell ill I saw the painful side of this. He went from a highly-respected profession to a desk worker at a car rental firm by the airport.
And so, I sought to financially diversify myself.
After trawling through blogs and taking various online courses, I started my first side gig.
With the help from members of a questionable paid forum, I began buying advertising on the internet and trying to sell dating website subscriptions for a share of the profit.
At the start it was a complete failure, but I stuck at it, and after a while I started making around $300 – $400 profit per day! The thrill of seeing this tiny stream of digital income start to grow became even more exciting to me than the $500 I would get for a day’s flying.
I soon realised I could be making more money elsewhere online so I started a handful of affiliate websites about some really random stuff (steeringwheellock.com was one!).
I taught myself how to build the sites and rank them on Google through SEO. I had some spectacular failures.
But after a while, I started to crack it! I found though that the part I really enjoyed, was getting the sites to the top of Google in as short a time as possible.
Word of mouth in the Airlines saw me starting to consult on other pilot’s side businesses, as well as the companies of various brother-in-laws and friend of friends.
Until eventually, I was making so much more money from online pursuit than I was flying planes that my lack of time meant I had to take the idea of quitting seriously.
It took me a while to build the courage to hang up my wings, but it was my burning desire to start a London SEO Agency so I could help other people achieve their goals that did it. In the end, the allure of entrepreneurship was too strong.
So, with a heavy heart, I quit.
I started the London SEO Agency Sharpe Digital over 7 years ago now, and since its inception we’ve helped over 500 businesses, big and small, realise their online potential.
I don’t have a clue why but for some reason I just can’t get enough of the cloak and dagger game of ranking websites on Google!
I now live in London with my wife and German Shepherd, and I sometimes have to wonder how I got here.
I grew up with nothing, so I think I’ll always appreciate it and pay it forward whenever I can. I miss flying commercially now and again, but I’ve been able to buy my own small aircraft and fly it whenever I want.
SEO has given me an income more than 12 times what I used to earn through a ‘proper job’.
More importantly, it’s given me ultimate flexibility.
I still work very hard but I get to choose when, where and with who which makes all the difference.
I have 10 employees working for my agency, and as well as a small army of contractors and outsourcers.