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28-Year-Old Got Fired Then Built A $500K-A-Month Business While Traveling The World

John Crestani was sitting on a beach in Thailand, poor and lost in his life when he opened a book that helped transform him from a job drifter to a successful internet entrepreneur.

It was 2009 and Crestani, then 21, had fled to Thailand after dropping out of college. He was bumming around the country on a small loan from his family and trying to “find” himself. To that end, he brought along spiritual works like The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu scripture).

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But his saving grace turned out to be a business book: The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, the now-classic manual for breaking free of the nine-to-five by building an online business.

 

 

Ferriss’s key tenet in the book is to stop trading time for money and build businesses that can, eventually, operate almost entirely on their own after you set them up: passive income.

“I was at a point in my life where I had very little direction, didn’t know where I was going, and had this void,” says Crestani. “I thought ‘This sounds freaking awesome and I want to do it.’”

And he did. Crestani used his own hustle and Ferriss’s tips to build an affiliate marketing network that currently generates $250,000 to $500,000 per month, enables him to travel the world, and scales on-demand.While plenty of people aspire to join other followers of Tim Ferriss’s lifestyle design, Crestani is its high prophet. But he didn’t get there overnight.

 

Years of Failure Before 4 Hours of Work

 

 

It took Crestani years of false starts and experimentation before he finally hit upon a winning, profitable business.

His first shot at entrepreneurship was selling products on eBay. That venture brought him $1,000 to $2,000 per month, and a call from PayPal’s security team. There was a problem with the business model: Crestani was selling products PayPal didn’t approve of. His PayPal account was shut down and that business shuttered.

So he re-enrolled in school and attempted to strike it rich catering to the needs of his fellow students. Exposed to computers before he reached double digits, Crestani used his technical know-how to acquire the test answers to every online course for every major from his university—and he used those answers just as you might expect.

“I had all the answers, and sold that knowledge,” he explains. “It was a weird feeling. I never realized a PDF file could be so valuable. It was my first experience of trading knowledge for money,” says Crestani.

The result was his first $1,000 day. But the celebration (and the cash flow) didn’t last. Crestani was suspended when the school suspected he acquired the test answers through illicit means.

Despite the failures, Crestani never lost sight of the ultimate goal. “The 4-Hour Workweek kept hustle on my mind. It planted the seed, the idea that you don’t need to trade time for money.”

Ironically, he was just around the corner from the success the book preaches. All it would take was Crestani getting fired from a nine-to-five job.

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