My Adventures As An Entrepreneur - From Nine Years Old To 2012 ... (28 years of adventure!)

by Jerrico_Usher

I've always, for as long as I can remember, been an entrepreneur. Join me in my adventure from 9 years old when I cleaned houses to my blow pop empire in the 7th grade and beyond!

I've always been a businessman. In my early years I had no idea about business but my dad taught me some of the basics in my early teens. He always said life isn't going to give you money- you have to earn it. We were as poor as you can get and still have a roof over our heads but it was this hard growing up that taught me the value of hard work. My work ethic has always been high and my creativity in generating money had developed early on.

If the internet was around back then I'd be a millionaire today but, unfortunately, the only computers that were mainstream in my childhood were etch-a-sketch and lite brite! This article will go over my adventures over the years that made me the businessman I am today. Many have read this story on Hubpages and said it was a great way to motivate their kids to get out there and get creative where making money was concerned. I hope it brings you the same joy. If nothing else it's a fun story!


Left to right - Jerrico - Scott - Jay

Me and my brothers (I'm the one on the left) In Texas
Me and my brothers (I'm the one on the left) In Texas
My family in the early 80's:  See why kids laughed at me in school? I don't even think people in the 70's wore clothes t
My family in the early 80's: See why...
Since their are VERY few (like less than 6) pictures of me as a kid I am not sure my age in any of them so I'll guess I
Since their are VERY few (like less t...

How it all started...

My Youth taught me about the value of converting my skill sets and time into money.

An honest day's work and the value of chasing your dreams, solving your problems, and growing yourself proactively.

My motivations were poverty and lack of money, or even fun. I was bored and wanted to experience what every other kid out their got to do, but the things I liked took money, and my parents didn't seem to ever have any.

My Young Entrepreneurial Spirit: Training ground for who I am today

My first business was around the age of 9, I grew up dirt poor.

Even the "bugs" were gangster trying to survive in our house... We had no food for them to steal; the critters living in our apartment in the ghetto suffered famine.

It was from humbled beginnings that I learned to be a hard worker, and to grow the one thing even a poor kid could afford to grow, my mind, my skill sets and my ability to make a dollar out of 15 cents.


I had great parents; they always taught me the value of honesty and the fallacies of dishonesty. They also taught me hard work is good for a while but learn to transform that experience into something more lucrative. They taught me to work smarter not harder, help people and always learn something new every day.

Kidco Movie: The fire was "LIT"

My parents were more of the type to teach great things than to do them their selves (not for lack of trying they just seemed to tell others how to do it better than they could accomplish the tasks themselves). They never really made a lot of money but I come to find that their wisdom was always right on. Those who can't do, teach would apply here. My dad used to tell me, Son, learn from yours and others mistakes. Take nothing for granted. My mother rented a movie when I was about 9 called "Kidco", it was 1984.

This movie really tied together everything they'd told me about perseverance and going for your goals, Proactively and the like and it lit a huge fire under my belly. I learned that day about the value of chasing your dreams not just waiting for them to happen. 20 years later I reminisced about that flick and found it on eBay, ironically as old as it was and a VHS at that it was 20.00! The movie was really grainy but to me it was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I suggest any kid watch it, it is entrepreneurial spirit in kids manifest. After that movie I started to chart ways to make money.

Some history of my trials and tribulations as a young boy..

Let me back up and tell you that as a kid I was always getting in trouble.. I just couldn't follow the What were they thinking with that shirt? Realize I was NOT allowed to pick what I wore or to say no if I didnt like what they picked.. I fought this and was grounded for it- alotstatus quot, I was adventurous, I couldn't be a follower, or just do what I was told like my brothers, I was too passionate and curious.

I was a born leader, always trying to network people for the greater good but mostly always trying to experience life, and nothing would stop me, so you see I felt frustrated and constrained a lot as rules don't allow for exploration just any time you get the jitter bug in you..

I even snuck out of my crib as a young child. I was a handful as a kid, so my parents often grounded me. With no amenities (we had no computers back then, no iPod, although we did have other things, but as a poor kid, the best we had was that clock radio and books/magazines) I had to figure out ways to entertain myself and my analytical nature took over.

I would sit in my room with a pen and a paper drawing up budgets, and charts, even drawing pictures of my dreams. By budget I mean 100 ways to spend 2.50 I found outside over the past month in change on the ground. You'd be amazed at just how far that would go in 1985! (lemon heads, Red Hotts, Boston baked beans, Now & Laters- all .10 cents each!). To take you back that was the year back to the future came out.

Most kids looked forward to Christmas "presents", we looked forward to the Christmas dinner, the real food. That was the one time of the year my parents splurged on groceries. We could have beans and rice most of the year but Christmas was all turkey and all the fixings!

I had big dreams..

When I was grounded to my room, later I called this "My Office" to make the "punishment" feel more like going to work then being imprisoned in a room, I often sat and pondered things I wanted then drew pictures of what I saw in my head. I wasn't a good artist but my drawings really spoke to me. And everything I drew back then became manifest in one way or another, at one time or another in my life.. Even the car I drew.. Ironically is the car I drive today!

I didn't realize it back then but drawing pictures of what I wanted was enacting the "law of attraction" . I didn't draw things I knew were practically impossible to get but things like nice clothes was attainable if I found a way to earn just a little money. The kids at school always laughed at my clothes so that was a big deal to me. A motivator to excel in my venture to make money. My dad called it "capitol" and often told me about investing a little money and earning a lot. (Dollar out of 15 cents).

Which brings us to why and how I started my first Kid company *Smiles*


My first Business at 9 years old (almost 10) House Keeper

If I had a flyer back then this would be itI took it upon myself to go door to door and solicit my services of house cleaning for a measly 2.00 a pop (to me their wasn't at the time anything "measly" about it), I just did a "straightening up" deal, and as a deal sealer I offered to do the bathroom free..

I acquired 15 clients around the "hood" and made 30.00 a week which I worked for 2 hours a day after school doing it. I cleaned each one once a week for apx 30 minutes..

Each house was easy but the collective work was exhausting! To this day I HATE house cleaning but if I must do it, I do it well..

New habits were formed from my work...

I learned from this experience to clean up after myself IMMEDIATELY every time. I make my bed when I wake up, keep my clothes in a basket (dirty laundry), when I cook I clean up AS I cook. It's simply easier to do it this way than to have to clean a filthy house. Plus your environment is always flowing with "CHI/ Good Fung shui. I never became compulsive about it, but I made it so if I did have to clean I'd not have much to do.

The work took me about 30 minutes (target goal) and often they felt guilty (didn't discover this till years later I was only nine) for the 2.00 low fee (I worked my arse off) and often fed me lunch and cookies (to me a sweet (pun?) deal since the best I got at home was garlic spaghetti noodles (see my hub on "nostalgia" for more on this funny story)..

I just thought I got lucky and they were nice people. They were and I was, however I realized years later in reminiscing, that their body language and things they said showed they hired me thinking 2.00 meant a light cleaning but what I ended up doing was a pretty good job. I took pride in my work. A job worth doing is worth doing well or why do it (my mom used to say).

So to me I got lunch (good food too) cookies, lemonade and exercise (and I really liked seeing people's houses and having all the conversations (I was an intellectual 9)..

tired of cleaning
tired of cleaning

I lost my passion for cleaning houses all the time, and decided to make a new plan.

The work was alot and after about 3 months I tired of cleaning all the time. I still had to clean at home, my parents got tired of the house being a mess so they enacted a new Saturday spring cleaning law (isn't this like reality? Business run into these kinds of things all the time!) and spring cleaning every Saturday was eating into my best business day.

I had school during the week so my best day to make money was the weekend and after school for 3 hours or so.. so I lost one of my best earning days.

I decided to save the money and funnel it into a new business. Candy sales. I hired my brothers and started my first "corporation" "Ironically I called "Kidco" (my brothers were not amused)..

Kings market of wholesale candy (not really but to the trained sales person who knew that those .10 lemon heads had a "street value" of .25 this was a wholesale price). Kings market became our "Costco".

We went to Kings market (a hole in the wall store on Gerber road in Sacramento) and we took a humbled 20.00 (I forget how much we really had, to us it was a lot though because of how much frikken candy we could afford!) and purchased Red Hotts, Lemon Heads, Boston baked beans and Now & Laters.

We bought enough to fill a moderate sized box about the size of a hot dog vender walking around baseball games). The candy was sold for 10 cents a box and 25 cents for Now & Laters but they were 15 packs so they were pretty good sized perception wise. We also purchased blow pops as I saw that 8 for a buck was a great deal, (until later but I'll get to that)..


We took our candy stripper business to the neighborhood and what was great is the best clients/clientele were the people I cleaned houses for.. They saw my enterprising venture as a good influence on me and my brothers and always bought candy from us (they had kids too).. Although I didn't work for them any more they always asked me if I ever needed money to come back (to clean their house)..

They admitted to me, many of them, that it wasn't the house cleaning they liked (although they said I was one dedicated cleaner) they really enjoyed my company.. That felt good. When they would tell me that I would tell them, well how about I come by and we chat and you pay me the 2.00 at the end of our talk? They just laughed and so did I. (Thought I'd give it a shot?).

They fed us still! Cold cuts and cookies, lemonade.. I remember sitting one day with my bro's being arrogant.. I said boys.. Stick with me and theirs more where this came from.. (The one eyebrow stare came next) I got it from that rich punk on the Kidco movie.. I would always talk about and reenact that movie it had such an affect on me!

We found instant success.. The result of having a good clientele base (my old house cleaning clients were converted into candy buying clients..).. I learned the value of good work and its affect on future business ventures in recycling your clientele!


We sold our candy out every day but we also spent our profits every day too, we started to eat our inventory when we started to lose business since people already had enough candy.. The market was going down.. And we lost hope a bit.. 

We were kids what did we know about "don't spend your capitol?" I was a budding entrepreneur though..

We did fulfill some fantasies of buying a whole box of lucky charms and eating it with no grown ups telling us we couldn't pick out the marshmallows..

We ate the hell out of that cereal but not realizing we also lost our flair for the fantasy..

It was no longer fun to sneak in and steal the marshmallows while our parents slept..

I learned that day the value of scarcity.

We didn't even finish the box, it simply didn't interest us as much.. and we felt sick from eating so much so fast..

When this business went kaplop.. we went back to being kids and while walking home one day contemplating how to make some money, as the ice cream truck that passed daily would taunt us (I never got money from my parents for any reason so anything I had I got myself they were doing good to keep a roof over our heads!).

We walked past this house with one of those big red cherry trees and noticed all over the lawn was dead cherries and squished rotted cherries.. The owners were picking them off the tree to avoid this tragedy and were filling paper bags with them. They were sick about the cherry problem. I asked them if we could have some, they were the same cherries you buy at the store.

They said yea take a couple bags and we did. We ate until our belly's ached, then It hit me.. Wait.. They sell these at the store; let's sell them door to door! Yea (the resounding group verbal hug sounded).. We went door to door offering a whole bag of cherries for only 5.00 (which we never thought we'd get.. that was alot of money even to us) first door we knocked on (and I didn't realize this till many years later) was a bunch of pot heads smoking weed, the smell was kind pleasant and years later when I knew what that was the memory triggered and an aha moment transpired..

They bought the whole bag and like Mortimer on the movie Trading Places (with Eddy Murphy) or coming to America.. (Also staring Eddie Murphy) We were back!

This didn't last as we were starving at the time and went to buy candy at the store but were intercepted by the ice cream truck :).

Cherries from the tree


We went back to the house to get more cherries but made the grave mistake of telling them we sold them for 5.00. When we asked for them at first they said, don't get selfish kids, then I told them no, we want to sell them. Sell them? They asked, yea we sold the other bag for 5.00. They started to talk about selling them themselves.. Good idea they told us.. one even said sarcastically, yea we can sell them and hire a gardener, But refused to give us any more, sadly.

I didn't do anything again business wise until about 14 years old (well nothing substantial) when I got the insight about the school candy venders. They sold in class blow pops and although we couldn't eat them in class they allowed sales for the fund raisers.

I noticed they always ran out and saw a market.. I was always upset that they'd sell out before 3rd period where I'd see the venders.. In my disappointment I sought out a way to get blow pops myself.. and an idea sparked... Supply and demand my friend.

I went home and with my 20.00 (saved from birthday money my grandmother always sent us 10.00 from that and the rest I saved from various things) asked my dad to take me to price club now Costco.. And I discovered a box of 100 were only 5.00..

I bought 4 boxes and discovered that this was apx 20 cents a piece. The blow pops in school sold for 25 cents each but I wanted to make a better profit. I realize the demand for blow pops was high when they ran out because people were scalping pops for 35- as much as 1.00 in some cases. (I bought one for a dollar so I know the yearning feeling).

I decided to build my company around those venders to solve their problem (they hated saying I ran out, to their customers)..

I offered them a deal, sell my pops WHEN YOU RUN OUT.. Didn't want bad karma to hit me by taking business from the fundraiser or the school to find out about my enterprise.. I would load each vender up with 100 pops a week and astonishingly they sold all of mine and all the fundraisers.. Mine went for 50 cents a profit of about .30 each which I split down the middle with the vender we each made .15 a pop (pun intended).

The funny part is they always asked for more from the fundraiser (the school) before I showed up and they (fundraiser administrators) wouldn't give them more.. I didn't get it.. (now I realize it was to control how much candy the kids had).

blowpop box of 100
blowpop box of 100
middle school
middle school


When it was all in motion I made about $224.00 a month in profit (my cut) on an initial 88.00 a month investment.. I had labor (vendors who were students selling for their fundraising groups) which I paid out 224 in labor overhead (I shared equal profits) total intake from an 88.00 investment was 1600 pops (22.00 x 4 boxes a week or 5.00/100 x16 boxes/month) x .50 retail = 800.00

Not bad for a Jr. High School kid starting with 22.00 (well my dad paid the other 2.00 tax but that was the most money he ever gave me for nothing)

Business was booming then the school mafia (bully) stepped in

I was put out of business when a school bully wanted a free pop (I eventually started to sell them myself out of my backpack, reinvesting my own profits into product and making more profit per pop selling them myself)..

He demanded I give him one free and I denied him. I figured if I gave him one today tomorrow he'd ask- er Demand one again and I'd be his bitch. I didn't want to set precedence, especially since he did it in front of other kids in class.

If he'd asked nicely I'd of considered it (protection money you know, the mafia always steps in when a business is successful huh?)

He caught me outside on the first day of my "restocking" and picked me up by my neck and swung me around like a rag doll, all my inventory was dispersed (backpack was open) all over the ground and like roaches the school kids stole them..

(I went to a bad school)..

I still remember that guy.. Adrease.

The principal found out and I took the brunt of the blame, never revealing my vendors or that anyone else was working for me.. Business was over..

Simple as that..

I had a good run though, over 5 months. I used most of my profits past capitol to feed the poor kids including myself at lunch time. I'd spring for it's It (ice cream sandwich that looked like a big cookie) and pizza from the pizza hut kiosk we had at our school. I was the go to guy to borrow money, but I never asked for it back. I would pass out "dollar's" so much the very question was a trademark at my school "Let me get a dollar" I heard it every day till it hurt..

Nothing for several years happened until I was about 21 when I ordered the SMC cataloged kit to sell products at swap meets.. I ordered the kit for 25.00. It included the catalog (full color looked like a JC Penny catalog) and order forms. When it arrived took the cataloged around to friends and my restaurant (I was a waiter) and generated 840.00 (roughly) in sales..

Astonished I placed the orders and waited for the products to arrive.. When they did all my customers were satisfied (more than actually) and I thought wow that was easy.. My wholesale cost was 50% of the price in the catalog (MSRP), and the pieces were good for the quality of the end product. All my customers felt they got a great deal.

My entrepreneurial light bulb went off and I decided to try a campaign to pass out catalogs to local businesses. I took the 400.00 in profits and ordered 300 catalogs at 4.00 each. (Full color and beautiful, branded too, complete with order forms (that I inserted after putting my company name and address on it with a stamp) these were huge catalogs not like Avon.. over 3,000 products!

I deemed my company Kensington Distributing Company or "KDC"

I was so proud of this venture, I was excited to really be in a legitimate company, not just a kids fun and games business. I went down and got my first business license and tax ID, home based business permit and was ready to go. I Purchased a fax machine and office stuff.

The catalog also had a place to brand my company phone name address etc..

I got dressed and bounced to the streets to sell local businesses on my product line.. I passed out all of the catalogs over a weeks time.. to local businesses in Manteca, California about 50 miles south of Sacramento. This was a one horse town essentially but their was a decent flow of people there. I worked currently at Lyons Restaurant as a Waiter/Server. I made about 100 a night in tips and used that to fuel this enterprise.

16 years old
16 years old
My Catalog
My Catalog
Waiter At Lyons Resturaunt 21 Years old
Waiter At Lyons Resturaunt 21 Years old
This is me at 24 when I started my first catalogue business/ swap meet new product booth
This is me at 24 when I started my fi...


My only set back? I was a 21 year old guy who looked 16.. A curse in business relations face to face where initial perception is involved. I acquired a partner but he didn't do a dam thing to help, he wouldn't do the street work and turned out to be useless.. His only real contribution was his name on the business card. I hesitated to add partners to any future businesses from that experience but soon got over that when I met Caroline (my partner in "The Jerrico Effect" a business I started later that really took off).

I remember staring at that phone waiting for the calls.. cell phones were barely new back then (at least affordable wise)


NOT ONE ORDER CAME IN. no calls. Nothing.

All that footwork, all that driving around, the expense of purchasing all those catalogs.. My dream was in shambles..

I went out and revisited the shops and they all had an excuse.. "I haven't gotten to it" etc.. I lost hope and decided to reinvest into the concept.. The catalog orders like I did the first time wasn't that easy after I initially got people to order.. Turns out many of them ordered just to see me succeed.. To light that fire under my belly, and it was their admitting this actually that kept me going.. I persevered.. I would go out only with a fight!

I bought another 800.00 of cherry picked products for my swap meet/ auction idea..

When they arrived I also went out and bought two large tables, and got lucky someone had put a nice shelf on the street in the neighborhood with a sign "free to good home" and I took it.

(you should have seen the smoke when I hit my breaks all of a sudden.. )

New angle on the old concept..

I loaded that and the tables with my products and set up my space.. 25.00 a day for rent on the space in a high traffic auction (outdoors)..

Turns out no one wanted to pay remotely what the retail prices were on these.. After all it wasn't inside a store (where they would) it was a bargain center..

The irony is in the catalog next to all the other stuff people got the perception of value like in a store but on shelves at a neighborhood auction (swap meet) where people rent spaces and sell things, the perception was that a 30.00 item should go for 10.00.

At first I refused to lose money, but 8 hours in the sun, full bladder (I forgot about the bathroom break concept! So I suffered!) and the Mexican music blasting from the adjacent booth giving me a headache I was willing to sell out and just break even.

I lowered my prices a little hourly until they were going for what I paid for them (including shipping).

So I ended up after an excruciating day at the market (I went out for 4 weeks) and broke even and got stuck with all this extra product which I passed out as Christmas gifts that year..

This however was a failure I chalked up to experience, and to me it was fun none the less, the very inspiration it brewed in me was my best currency.

I turned my room into my first display case for my first auction products to sell CLICK TO SEE FULL SIZE

This was my selection of Japanese "cork sculptures" Book ends, and inscent holders etc..
This was my selection of Japanese "co...
This was my selection of karate figurines, shelves,large cork sculptures in frames (everything to the right of the room
This was my selection of karate figur...
Dream catchers, plaques, wizard figurines, a really cool ship, dolphin and other plates with stands
Dream catchers, plaques, wizard figur...
I really liked those karate sculptures.. (and the cherub shelves they stood on were products too!)
I really liked those karate sculpture...


Introduction To The Next Business

The eBay Business: Tammico

KDC lent me a lot of lessons but it also lent me a lot of gun-shy moments in pursuing business endeavors. I can't tell you how much I wanted to go back to working at a job where I was the employee and someone was calling the shots. The structure just seemed incredibly tantalizing after my failures. Mind you, I don't consider failures bad, but they can be exhausting so a sabbatical was needed.

I spent the next 3 or so years working as a waiter (again and exclusively). I worked at 4 different restaurants because I became bored of staying in one place too long. When I tired of that I decided to upgrade my skill sets in a desk job where I could still talk to people. My next career was working for Earthlink Tech Support. I fell upon the job because my younger brother worked there and couldn't stop talking about the benefits. They had their own soda fountain and essentially had the freedom to play on the internet between calls (we did a lot of research to tech calls- Google is a tech's best friend!).

During my almost 2 years there (I really loved that job and the pay was phenomenal for what we had to do) I ran into a lot of people who were "internet geeks" so to speak (they self titled themselves that). I tapped into the minds of many of these people and started to realize there was an entire world of earning on the internet.

At the time I had no clue but being the quick study I am I took what they taught me and spent a great deal of time online researching AS I helped customers. I could easily fix most problems by habit and surfed the web while I walked them through the steps (like plugging in their monitor so "the internet would come back on"!).

This all lead down to the next business I'd start and thrive in, but crash and burn at the height of my success thanks to too many unscrupulous people. I'll explain that in order... Read on...

Denny's (playing around at work)
Denny's (playing around at work)
Denny's (slow period)
Denny's (slow period)
Denny's (different store)
Denny's (different store)


My Home Business "Cubicle" - Where I did All My Work

(yes this was before flat panel computers came out, affordably anyway)
My workstation During The eBay Era
My workstation During The eBay Era

Tammico Innovations: The Fascinatrix CD

The eBay Compilation Disc Phenomenon

Next up is a company I called "Tammico" based on my then girlfriend (I think she was the devil) "Tammy" and my name "Jerrico" = Tammico... ironically she hated anything to do with the internet and business and giving over half the name to her name didn't convince her to relax!

When I was looking for an angle to start a business I was hard pressed to come up with ideas. I turned to eBay. During that period I discovered a concept called a compilation information CD. I did a search for "make money online" and "online business" and ran across a bunch of spam. It wasn't until 3 days later that I discovered the compilation CD concept.


This was essentially started like an internet time capsule of fascinating information. It was like the best of the internet conceptualized into e-Books and compiled into a CD and marketed in thousands of ways.

Essentially the first CD I bought had everything from how to pick locks to how to write e-Books to how Kentucky Fried Chicken (now called KFC) makes their coleslaw and what 13 herbs and spices are in the world famous chicken!


There were over 40 folders in this CD. It was a lot like a Wizzley account only people would write the information down and add it to the compilation, instead of it being self contained into a Wizzle, for example, it was a bunch of loose files with an html index to help you navigate it. It was a site in a folder basically- just like things are found online.

The CD came with full resale rights so people kept buying them and deleting things that were outdated and adding new data. I was utterly fascinated by this concept and decided to buy the CD (it was 8.00 + 3.00 shipping and came on a burned CD) to resell. While I waited for it to come in the mail I took the ad I bought it from and rewrote it (I just needed the information of what was on the CD I didn't want to copy the ad). My ad was much better :)


I came to learn that my site building skills were actually pretty decent. I taught myself the previous year but never really used the skill set. I created an ad for eBay and posted it for sale BEFORE I got my copy in the mail.

I didn't expect any sales to come in right away but they did, within an hour of posting the ad!(had the CD I received been crap, I'd of gone out and found a bunch more and consolidated them. That's precisely what I did next)!

I sold 3 copies.


When the CD came it was everything the ad said it was and more. I quickly burned 3 copies and shipped them off (after checking the CD of course). My customers gave me glowing reviews. I got the idea from an infomercial called "making money now by Brad Richdale" where he said, sell it then create it to create motivation, in this case I already purchased the rights to resell it so why wait?

This began a career (and opened my eyes to a whole new world (queue lion king song) where by I paid only for eBay ad space (posting a page) and sold the CD for 5.99 (to compete) + shipping. I sold an average of 10 a week at that point and decided to up my game. It was easy money and incredible...


The CD itself contained folders of information but nothing was compiled specifically into an eBook/PDF format which I didn't much like as a customer or for my customers. I took the information I thought was spectacular and recompiled it into eBooks, I was left with 3/4 of the CD blank- which for most wasn't a big deal but I liked to deliver.

I realized there were several dozen versions of this concept circulating on eBay and most resellers were lazy and just resold the same CD verbatim. I wanted to brand it and upgrade it so my product was the best. I bought up every CD available and came to find most of them had 80% the same crap, by crap I mean "padding" of old outdated files and information that was useless, badly written and the like. Things I'd removed from the original CD I purchased. This was the beginning of a cancer that would consume the concept and kill the ability to continue to sell it, but we're not there yet so let's back up again...


What I ended up with was 22 CD's that I condensed and compiled into eBooks and this filled the 700 Meg CD, well 650 Megs of data, I allocated the other 40 megs (leaving 20 megs overhead so the CD didn't error out) into an introduction animation that also doubled as a CD table of contents.

I too, in the spirit of maintaining the concept's liberated format (re-sellable) made mine re-sellable at first but eventually when I put in 100x the work to format it and build it, created a branded CD called "Tammico Presents: The Info-Matrix". I later built the perfect version of this CD after a years work and dubbed it "The Fascinatrix", but eBay squashed the concept before I could bring it to market.  


A year later I was making enough money to quit waiting tables and sit at home burning CD's most of the day and shipping. I loved it!

eBay started to raise their fees and it got to the point where there were dead periods that wiped me out and busy periods that balanced it out, but due to the competition out there I had to step up how many ads I had to buy (@ 4.00 + percentage of the sale) to maintain those numbers.

I came to realize that I needed to expand my business and lower my overhead and started hire eBay power sellers to sell my CD for me. It was a sweet deal, I built the ad, updated it, kept maintaining the CD/product (it took constant updating to keep "fresh"). While other sellers were getting negative feedback about their CD's I was getting glowing feedback about it's value and "different" appeal.

I also had an average of 150 ads running all the time so nobody else's ads were visible unless you scrolled past most of mine! That really upset them, but hey, all's fair in business. I paid the price to run those ads (and I wasn't rich!) so I deserved the glory- besides most of those CD's were just bought and sold, no changes, nothing- rip off.


I hired 5 independent contractors essentially and they would pay for ads, and I'd provide the HTML content, images, everything they needed. When they sold a CD they'd send me 5.00 a sale and kept the lions share (including shipping). My sales jumped to 20-40 CD's a week and the only work I had to do (although alot of work it was it was fun) was create the jewel cases (from scratch to jewl artwork shrinkwrap, CD burning etc...) I was the only one who had a retail CD the others were amaturish and mostly crap.


I had become the manufacture and drop shipper and they paid all the advertizing costs. I ended up with the most ads in my category and wiped my competition out. The beauty was instead of paying myself for 150 ads to run (lot of money) my distributors paid all those fees and paid me the 5.00 like a franchise fee. Technically they were franchisees. That put hundreds of dollars back in my pocket and profit was through the roof!


I got angry emails (from my competition) about flooding the site with my ads but hey, this was just business, it's not my fault they couldn't afford to put up more ads :). To me I was cleaning up the realm- most of my competition were selling recycled crap and people were tired of getting the same CD from different people just rebranding the cover and their ads - Mine, was unique and powerful- technologically advanced. It auto-loaded and had flair- not a CD full of loose files in folders with ambiguous names and junk padding.

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Over the next year of a good 3 year run, I had hired someone to not only sell my product but she offered to manufacture and ship it too. The CD had evolved into a product costing 19.95 + 2.00 shipping and I still got 5.00 of that, but it was a streamlined passive income! I came to trust her after a year of loyal business and she turned out to be a godsend.

She was pulling in 300.00 in sales a week and became my main distributor for the other 4 venders who ran ads on eBay. I was in seventh heaven. She constantly thanked me and told me I was making her a LOT of money! I was happy with my 5.00 cut per sale.

I had to  manage the middle ground but I was sitting phat in passive income and didn't have to do much work. My CD had become timeless and perfected so the back end work was almost nothing but management.


It all came to a slow tapering down when eBay had (again) raised their fees in ads and their store to the point where most of my venders couldn't make money even with the lions share. My major vender/distributor was also struggling and the market started to slow down.

I came to find out that a lot of my competition were making grandiose claims and not living up to them so the customer complaints to eBay were stacking. At first I took this as a good sign, it means I'll get ALL the business now :). That's not what happened. What happened was these complaints were so many that eBay took action and shut us all down.


It was becoming a PR issue and eBay laid down the law. They didn't out right ban the CD's but they made it impossible to list it's contents (what actually sold it!). Without that, there's nothing to entice people to buy it. I'm considering re-entering this business as video is a great way to bypass those filters!


Frustration set in across the board and within a month every ad I tailored and updated my venders with kept getting de-indexed for TOS violations- listing more than one product. It was technically one product being sold but they didn't care. I really hated eBay at that point and accepted that my run was over. My last vender quit because they couldn't turn a profit and my business was over. 

I decided to take a sabbatical and to go back to waiting tables at Denny's. The money was good, I enjoyed the social interaction and I was good at it. I missed the social part of working, I'd become a bit of a hermit at the time. 


A year later I wanted to get back into the game. I needed a new product, a new concept, and something with the same ease as the other business. I was an insomniac and while searching one day for insomnia cures I stumbled upon my next business concept- Insomnia relief.


TranQuilWiser - (2002 to 2006)

I wrote a whole article about this "era" so instead of being redundant here I'll link you to that article:

TranQuil-Wiser Innovations - My Meditation CD Business

HubPages - (2007 to 2012) and Wizzley (2012 March - Today)

My Introduction Into The Wonderful World Of Writing For Income...

I joined hubpages December of 2007 wrote my first hub on December 7th 2007 Decoding Love", (I didn't know what else to write about lol). I came here from a CraigsList ad some other hubber posted while looking for a lead to how to make money writing.

I had no clue how to make money online, I didn't even know how the adsense concept worked!

I had skills in many areas online including web design but I never even tried to dabble in Internet Marketing until I saw HubPages...

This one move changed my life drastically including leading to seeds planted that brought me freelance work (they came to me!!!) and within the first year of writing there I'd landed my dream job online working for an internet Guru.

Before this the best I'd ever done was building and selling things on eBay but that proved to be a money pit as fees got higher and profits were impossible for me. The irony is the way I make money now is in the same category- selling INFORMATION, only now I get paid by kl.icks not by the CD!

I started writing hubs and immediately became a hubpages addict. I would write hubs practically every day and about any and everything I could think of. My writing was horrible but over the course of the first year I'd been beaten up by the community for my writing being unfocused and although interresting nobody seemed to care to run through my uncut grass full of sticker bushes (my first 20 hubs).

I learned very quickly that writers were awnery bunch or rather opinionated- after all they are writers right?!

I had to learn the hard way to take constructive (and non constructive) criticism and move on, improve my writing and figure out this whole internet marketing thing (making money online). I knew quickly that hubpages was the perfect training ground, although until about 2 years in I had no idea just how powerful this site was for teaching the layman most of what they needed to know to generate an income online (if you chased it that is by learning all the time and playing with what you learned) - or as they put it- harnesting the internet money making power.

Training Wheels

At first my hubs were incredibly long, unfocused, and plain, but I would in time play around this "sandbox" and learned how to use the Erector set of tools they provided. It wasn't too long after that that I wanted to know how to write better content.

I found that by using capsules and following the tips of many other hubbers where building SEO content by capsule promps that learning SEO was quite fun. By writing a long hub then later cutting the content into capsules and seperating the content into sections broken down by headers, I learned to be more focused in my writing.

My actual writing started to mimic the way I habitually created the hubs. Instead of writing a long long long capsule (like 2k words average) I started to write and as the current changed I would create a new text capsule, label it and write in that category.

This helped me but what really helped was some advice I got to limit each capsule to about 4 paragraphs max. This helped me to not blabber about at the thoughts and since I was forcing myself to limit my copy writing I was more succinct at writing less and saying more- potency without irritating the readers.


Training Wheels Off - 2009

Now that the training wheels were off in 2009, writing hubs again became a fun artistic outlet for me.

The money I was earning wasn't a lot but I was getting a steady 100.00+ check every month now and that was a great help to me financially as my online management job brought in enough to live on as a single guy but I wasn't exactly single anymore-

I was in love and life changes drastically when you move into together and need a bunch of furniture, have car payments and the like. I found that my salary was being taxed more in providing my fiance with the life I think she deserves so although if I were single I'd be what many call "rich" I find that being in love and being broke, well broke at a higher level and not having to go to any offline job- was all the wealth I needed for now. Love is grand.

Motivated to better mine and her lives with more enrichment I persued making money online under the tutelidge of two power broker internet marketers who taught me everything I know today- but had I not learned what I did on hubpages for 2 years prior I'd or not been prepared to learn at the rate I did.

I found that hubpages "removed the training wheels" and gave me a safe environment to learn enough about internet marketing concepts that I never became a victim of those "get rich quick" schemes out there- I did order some but only out of curiosity of learning new tips and tricks but not as a step by step- that likely only worked for the guy who wrote the course and had the resources to make it work. Hubpages taught me enough to become "internet marketing street smart" so to speak.


Cultivation Of Skill Sets

I spent the next year doing off hubpages work both for my guru friends (who detest being called a guru but I can't help it as a true guru isn't someone who talks about making lots of money doing this and that but rather someone who walks the talk FIRST and that's them).

In working for them I'd developed through actual experience building THEIR sites, managing their databases like wordpress sites, and even getting an internal glimpse into a world very few get to see- the genius that is what makes one of them in particular as much an internet marketer as Steve Jobs is a guru of innovation in computing concepts, music (itunes), and the iPad,(the new HTML format that uses aps instead of web pages for marketing and as an OS)...

I spent years working (and still do for the experience and how I make my living to cover my basic living expences, the rest is extra money) for them and have become so good at so many things I am beside myself and thankful for their generosity.

I myself want to pass on that generosity and have chosen a few people to tutor- I have to limit this as my time is valuable between working and my family life and my passion for hubpages- I work and spend already too much time on this computer!


Full Circle

So Hubpages had come a long way and I've come a long way in utilizing the site myself. I've been paying my humbled rent with hubpages earnings alone for 2 years now. Some months they also buy the full girth of my groceries well that and my adsense checks which were mostly hubpages earnings!

After 3 years I decided to sit down and document all of my experience, my acquired SEO, Capsule SEO, page formatting, monetization (less the amazon and ebay capsules I've never used yet) and my deep understanding of the hubpages algorithm into an eBook. I'm truly astonished at how much data is in this book- meaning this sites very core is more than meets the eye.


The End

In early 2012 (February) I decided to consolidate a bunch of my adsense sites into hubs. Each page on these sites were self sufficient blogs but also connected to the others. I spent a lot of time copying them over and formatting them, publishing about 50 hubs every week! I decided to just put them on and publish them then format them later. The high rate of publishing started to trigger HP flags and they started to check my work very closely and dinged just about every other article form pixilated images or something else rediculous and easily fixed.

Becuase of the high rate of publsihing, however, these dings coming in so consistently across 50 hubs a week, they decided to pull my plug. They banned me and unpublished all my hubs without warning, without explanation, and contacting them was rediculous. They ended my career on the site one I'd carefully and over 4 years cultivated and was starting to make some really good money.

This devistated me at first, it was unfair, backstabbing, and rediculousely non-loyal. 


HP Banning Me Was A Blessing In Disguise! - Enter Wizzley- The God Of Sites That Makes HP look like windows 98!

I won't get into more than that but long story short this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In my dispair and loss of income I depended on at the time, I quickly scurried to find a new home for my 1000 or so articles. I had signed up for Wizzley (you are here)31 month prior after seeing it mentioned in someones hub (I think it was destiny). I didn't have time nor patience to learn a new system and was busy all the time so I didn't really do much more than sign up. Had I discovered the power of Wizzley at that time though, HP wouldn't have banned me because I would have started publishing on Wizzley exclusively.

I returned to wizzley (and forgot about them at first) and to my delight the site was built at the core a lot like hubpages (just the module concept). I started moving content over 2 weeks later after getting familiar with the staff and site authors.

I had to start over 4 months before writing this wizzle, but am now at 100 moved over, 4 months new to the site, updated, and fixed articles.

In hindsight I came to realize although most of my new stuff (2 years back to today) was great a lot of my first 100-200 articles were badly written and I'd never gone back to fix them. In moving them to Wizzley I am perfecting them. I also have 5 years of experience since the beginning and am going in feet on the ground running!.

Today I have 40 sites I manage (adsense sites), I write and post on Wizzley exclusively for 2.0 sites (for earning anyway, I post to a lot of sites for promotion). I work for the same guru's and do a lot of treadmill work for them in SEO (learning learning learning). I've since started a video tutorial building career (currently just for them and for hobby and I like to build tutorials for wizzley) and I'm getting quite good at making them. I want to build and sell videos for marketers soon.

I hope my journey inspires you to find your passion. That's where I was going and earning money is a great bonus.

I could go on about my many other ventures (some that come and go like opportunities), but I think this is getting quite long!

Comments appreciated, thank you for reading!

Updated: 08/22/2012, Jerrico_Usher
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Jerrico_Usher on 11/09/2015

Wow SO MUCH has happened since writing this in 2012 (now 2015 November)

cmoneyspinner on 10/28/2013

Interesting bio. "I grew up dirt poor. Even the 'bugs' were gangster trying to survive in our house... " That quotable quote if I ever heard one. :)

Jerrico_Usher on 11/23/2012


katiem2 on 11/22/2012

Dang can't believe I never came back to add the link.... Here's the wizz about the 90 day challenge a money making opportunity.

You're right anyone can do it indeed and now is the time to evolve and shift with the changing economic landscape.

Jerrico_Usher on 09/13/2012

Don't be shy katie, give us a link here... if you use http... all that it will become a hyperlink... thanks for your comments ;) I think those that are born are just given a headstart- anyone can do it, just takes passion, perseverance, tenacious effort, and a yearning to enjoy the process :)

katiem2 on 09/13/2012

So true! We entrepreneurs are born don't you think? I believe I was. Great article. Gonna tweet about this. Hey you should check out my 90 day challenge review, I'm doing it and its an entrepreneurs dream, you'd be insanely fantastic with it! Again, great article very much enjoyed it. :)K

lobobrandon on 08/23/2012

That would be great if you could get a website and promote them on them. You now know that text is a great way to get people to it :) I'm planning on starting a website of my own as well. It's going to be monetized using adsense, amazon and maybe even Viglink if needed - not decided exactly though.

Jerrico_Usher on 08/23/2012

I have a wizzography this would be like the business end extension lol, the linked-in profile perhaps? maybe not. I wrote this to share the adventure of compulsion to be an entrepeneur, it's like an ambition to make money and enjoy your work. I really enjoyed making music and websites, and those compilation CD's were as fun as building a wizzley account up. I know a lot more now about marketing and site building, seo, etc... I may just get all the bands back together in some of my shelved ventures (CD business, compilation CD (updated ver.) business, etc... just using websites to promote them. could even be download and burn :)

lobobrandon on 08/23/2012

Hey Jerrico! I began around a year back on HP - don't know how I came across it and it was the place I learnt as well. I liked the way you said HP is comparable to Win 98 :P & :D to that. Well, you do write well and I can see that, you've already got a wizzography or this could be it.

Jerrico_Usher on 08/22/2012

Hi Jay, how the hell did you find me here haha, you don't remember my house cleaning business before the candy and cherry guy thing? I realize now I should have charged more than 2.00 haha

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