On December 26th 1995 I had a mission. It was a mission already in progress. In about August 1993 I had just lost $65,000 playing the options market in one day. Back then I was just recovering from being flat broke a few years before so this was stinging loss. I was playing Duke Nukem and trading options. My home based business was purring along. But I was far from being productive.
Then I listened to about the first 4 or 5 Tony Robbins cassettes and I stopped. Never have finished all the others. I have them right here. But there was really no need. I got the message. So I got up off my ass and started trying various new things to make more money and secure my future.
That was late 1993 when OJ was the headline all day, everyday. The trial was to start on January 24th 2004. So I decided I was going to utilize one of my vanity 800 numbers 1-800-4A-WATCH. But I needed a product to sell. So I came out with the "OJ Watch". I commissioned a retired cartoonist from the New York Daily News to draw the cartoon below. The size was about 8.5 x 11 and I had it reduced down to the size of a watch face. I then contacted a guy in Hong Kong that made only the face dials for watches to produce the dial. I found another guy in Hong Kong that made quartz movements. Another guy that made leather straps there. Had the parts delivered to the movement guy, and he would assemble and ship.
Believe me, the story lasted longer than the business. But I will continue. So I tell the artist to make a picture of OJ and surround it by the known elements in the case. The knife and the bloody glove. The Bronco and the chase. I named it "Crime Watch by Crimex".
I get my very first shipment of watches at like 3PM one day. At 4PM I see a commercial for NBC Nightly News saying Mike Jensen is doing a story on all the OJ merchandise that is coming out and that an entire cottage industry was happening. So I called NBC and by 5PM they actually had a camera crew at my house and at 6:40 it was on the news and it showed the watch and my first full-page ad that I put in the flea market magazine and they showed my 800 number 1-800-4a-WATC. There was no "H" on the camera shot. But it did not matter, people figured it out. My phone and all 6 lines lit up like a christmas tree and we were in business.
So I sold them by the dozen for $99. I sold them retail for $20 each. Well that lasted about 6 weeks. Then on January 24th 1994 I got a "Cease and Desist" from their lead attorney. I almost crapped my pants. I folded faster than a card table. Back then OJ was powerful and had $$ even from a jail cell. So I settled quickly and that was the beginning and end of "Crime Watch by Crimex". 6 weeks. I still have the cease and desist letter somewhere. But I did sell quite a few of them.
Originally I was going to make the minute hand and the second-hand one with a bloody glove and one with a knife. But I thought that might be a bit over the line. Especially when the media convicted him before there was even a trial and I was still trying to figure it out. I watched every minute of every day during that trial. Fascinating.
So I made no money there but I was so energized from being able to create something from nothing and doing it so quickly and doing it without leaving the comfort of my home. That became my mission. How to I make not only a living, but become financially secure and independent without leaving my front door? I had just made the template.
By May of 1995 I had started the process of activating my 800 adult numbers. Like 1-800-MAKEOUT that still earns revenue daily. By August I had starting receiving checks that could pay for a monthly car note. By November I received a check for nearly $8000. I was stunned. I took those dollars and I bought a Gold Rolex. I was really proud to take those extra funds and buy something symbolic. I would wake up at 6AM each morning and that baby was the first thing I would put on in the morning. It gave me great motivation. It really cost nothing. It paid itself off in spades because it made me feel really good. I still own it.
I Retired it in 1999 for a Rolex Masterpiece which is the watch I most often wear today except for my "Special Occasion" watches.
I have found watch collecting to be a fairly safe way to invest and enjoy at the same time. So if you buy a $100,000 Patek, chances are you can sell it and not get hurt too badly. It may even appreciate in value. On the other hand, if you were to buy a $100,000 diamond and had to sell it on the open market to a jeweler because you had to liquidate it and you did not have the luxury of time to find a retail buyer, that $100k diamond has a "Street Value" of $16,500. Not even a new car goes down that much, that quickly. I aways determine true face value as what is it worth if you have to sell TODAY.
Getting back to 1995.....Little did I know that it would be just another month before I registered my first domain name. And when that came and it revealed itself to me, I just had 1 goal. Make at least $1 Million a year, every year for the rest of my life and even beyond. Build a virtual engine that would produce a lifetime of income. Income was the key and income was the goal. Steady streams of income. Virtual engine because I could add more domains and increase the size, power and financial output of that engine. Or I could take some away without disturbing the other moving parts of the virtual engine.
Not for 1 year. Not for a few years. But for a lifetime. Now it did not happen on day one. The goal did, but that was all that was there. It would be not until later in 1996 that I began to hit pay dirt. And it was not until the summer of 1997 that the gushers started. And it would be January of 1998 I finally realized my goal. I did not even know it until Lee Noga tapped me on the shoulder and said. "Hey Mr. Millionaire." It took a while to sink in.
So today marks the last day of my 18th year and then tomorrow marks the start of my 19th year. A 20 year plan not only intact, but on the mark, on time and even grander than I ever imagined. I have witnessed a revolution wider and bigger than any change in the history of mankind since fire. And fire took a lot longer to circulate.