This morning I was writing about my experiences during the dot-com boom back in the late nineties and early 2000. As a freelance writer, I caught that wave just at the right moment and rode it all the way to the shore. I made plenty of money writing for lots of crazy companies that were trying to figure out how to spend their venture capital funds. Every morning I’d get up and check to see who wanted more content; jumped on it, and collected my pay.
I didn’t really start being a full time writer until the World Wide Web came along. And when it did, that phenomenon called the dot-com boom was really good to me. I made a whole bunch of money – it was a whole bunch to me, anyway. The thing that had been almost unbelievable was how easy it was, if you’d figured out the system – and I’d always been good at figuring out systems. Websites were popping up everywhere online, companies that were funded by a shit ton of venture capital, and they wanted to spend that money as fast as they could. I don’t know if they were hiring other types of creative people, but they were hiring writers – content providers – every day. Each morning I’d check my email lists to find new sites looking for people like me to write for them. I wrote volumes of vapid marketing speak, short little five hundred word articles, whatever they wanted, and raked in fifty cents to a dollar per word. I didn’t look at any job that paid less. I was making in two hours more than I’d made in two weeks at any other job I’d ever had.
I find the Internet to be a vast ocean of resources and potential even now. It just takes spending some time out in the waves trying to find the one that is going to take you all the way. My Etsy jewelry business is another example of catching a wave and riding it. Through no special foresight of my own other than just being there with the right surfboard when a good wave came along, I was able to parlay the rise of Etsy and some good timing into a one-woman million dollar business.
I’m no guru, I don’t know anything. I don’t have a degree in business. I’m just persistent and intuitive and not smart enough to be afraid.
It’s invigorating to be back in the Internet ocean again, searching the horizon, looking for that next big wave. I’m sure there will be one coming along soon, and maybe if I’m in the right place, I can catch it. I might tumble off the board, but there’s always another wave coming along.