I have always believed thing happen the way they are supposed to, good or bad.  How fortunate are we when we learn the lessons of life this way.  I want to tell you a story of a meeting that “was supposed to happen”.

A few weeks ago, I left Chicago Midway airport, on my way to West Palm Beach, FL for Bob Burg’s Big Event.  There was a plane change in Tampa.  I was in the pre-board section.  Ahead of me was a young guy in a wheel chair, and his buddy who appeared to be the same age.  I had noticed them in the waiting area well before boarding.  You just don’t expect to see young people in wheel chairs.

Just before we boarded, there was an announcement that our flight would be delayed because of mechanical problems with the plane.  I wondered how that would affect my connection to WPB.  I didn’t worry about it, because things happen the way they are supposed to.  Once we were in the air, an hour late, they announced that they were holding the connection for us. Cool.

In Tampa, the entire plane was already boarded except for the 15 of us going to WPB. The flight crew had seats waiting for us, I boarded, and we were just waiting for the rest of the group.  Last on is the guy in the wheel chair, and his friend.  The guy in the wheel chair takes a seat next to me, and by the way…his name is Clint.

I don’t even remember how we started talking, but the next thing I know we are landing in Tampa, and I am fascinated by this young man.  He has a remarkable story.  I have been corresponding with Clint since he came back from WPB, and I told him I would like to write a blog about him and his company.  I also asked him to write a short bio for me.  Clint obviously has the same affliction I do, that he can’t write a short anything either.  Clint wrote a short version of his story, and I am going to share Clint Chaney’s story with your now.  

Clint Chaney

I started doing web design and programming when I was 16 years old. I got into it because of a video game actually. I use to play a game called “Motocross Madness 2″ and do tournaments online for it. Well one day a guy that also played decided to build a website to keep track of rankings. When he showed me the site I was absolutely amazed at how it worked. I always knew a little bit of HTML but wanted to know how he built the site to where a user could submit information and it automatically updated the site without him having to edit any files. He said dude… You gotta learn PHP & MySQL. To make a long story short I bought my first book on it and started learning.

It took only about a year and I became completely addicted to programming and designing sites. Then the part of me kicked in (after a couple years) that there was some serious money to be made. It was actually a website called livejournal.com that made me get into the social networking scene. This was before facebook had even been thought up in Mark Zuckerberg’s head, or should I say his classmates heads ;0)

From there I decided I was going to create my own “Journal” site, now known as blogging. I created a site called myownjournal.com (sadly new owners let it die) and found out people would actually pay for premium accounts. This was my first taste of some decent money and it tasted good. After a year of being up I got an offer to be bought out, and I took it. To this day I regret selling the site because I knew social networking sites were gonna blow up, but not to the degree that they did. I ended up selling the site for $12,000.00 and to me at the time was amazing! I signed a no-compete agreement on the sale so I had to figure out another site to program to make some money on.

This was the time when the myspace boom happened. This was also the time when I learned there was very serious money that could be made simply by putting advertisements on a site where you don’t even have to sell anything. During this myspace craze people loved customizing their profiles with layouts. I figured that I knew how to code and design so why not make some layouts and put them on a site for people to use. After some research I discovered that “Myspace Layouts” was a top ten searched keyword in search engines and sites were getting millions of visitors a month and making money off of them. So for a year I worked hard, started making about $1,000.00 a month. 

I decided it was time to get some serious education in information technology focused on web based technology. So I went to Illinois State University. It really wasn’t a hard decision. I knew it was a good idea to have a degree and I had friends that already went there so we all got an apartment together. My profits on the site slowly started to rise about $300.00 a month. The thing is I was having so much fun in college that I really didn’t want to do the work for it anymore so I started debating selling the site. I figured I could get 20k for it no problem.

Before I was able to make up my mind I broke my neck. One night friends and I were drinking and wrestling and I somehow ended up on my head not able to move anything from my neck down. The doctor said it was a 1 in a billion angle that my head hit and I couldn’t do it again if I tried. After an 8 hour surgery I woke up hoping it was going to be ok, but it wasn’t. I was paralyzed from the neck down and didn’t have much hope for recovery according to most of the doctors. One doctor, my surgeon, did have hope though. He said that he thought one day I would be back on my feet, maybe not back 100% but back on my feet either way.

So I got home and started physical therapy. I really didn’t have much else to do besides that and work on my website which I didn’t sell. So that’s what I did. It just took 3x as long to type and program because my fingers are also paralyzed (except 2 that barely work), but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

After a lot of work I got my website ranked #1 in google for “myspace layouts” keyword. Visitors started flooding in! This is where I realized I could turn this into a business and possibly make a million dollars in 2-3 years if I got the traffic to my site.  My plan worked! I was making between $20,000 – $30,000 a month just by giving away these layouts and having advertisements on my site.

In just over a year I had made about $300k. I thought awesome. After a few more years of this, and as myspace gets more popular and so does my site I’ll be able to retire at the age of 30! Unfortunately Mark Zuckerberg had something to do say about that. Well not really. That’s what it felt like though. As we all know now Facebook has dominated the market and wiped out myspace as far as social networking goes. Which it turn wiped me out also.

So now I was lost, had no clue what to do. Tried building a couple of social networking sites myself but facebook had it on lock down. Nothing was working for me. The upside is it made me focus on my physical therapy more. I worked hard and got myself back on my feet, not for long periods of time but I could walk about 300ft. I felt great about it. I decided it was probably time to suck it up and get a job working somewhere for some company that I probably would be miserable at. Before I do that though I think I need a vacation. So my friend and I packed up and headed to Florida to stay with some friends for a week! Little did I know I would meet someone on the plan that would re-inspire me.

 On the short flight from Tampa to West Palm Beach I had no clue I was going to sit down to Jean Kuhn, but I’m so happy I did. I told her my story, what’s been happening in my life, and how I decided to look for a job. I was even going to possibly move away from family and friends to California for a job. She told me about this cool thing called being a virtual assistant. It really caught my attention. I liked everything about it and immediately thought about how this is a business I would like to start. Jean got in touch with me once I was back from Florida and definitely put my mind into “Be successful” mode again. So with some work and some amazing help from Jean I am happy to say I just launched my website and it’s the 1st phase of my new business! It’s going to take a little while but it’s definitely something I’m thrilled to be doing!

 So there is my short story. Not so short but if I told the whole story you would be reading a 600 page book ;0) It’s never too late to do what you want; I thought it was and Jean took that right out of my head. I’m glad she did, and hopefully my story can do that for someone else!

  Clint 

http://www.onitindustries.com

 Please check out Clint’s website.  He does it all, designer, website development, social media, Virtual Assistant, and so much more.

Funny the way things work out.  If that original flight out of Chicago had not been delay, I would have missed out on meeting Clint, but things happen “the way they are supposed to”.

Be Sociable, Share!
Share →
  • http://www.onitindustries.com Clint

    Loved the post Jean. Glad you enjoyed my story!

    That’s the only plane I’ve been ok with a delay haha

    • http://www.bounce-solutions.com Jean Kuhn

      Thank you for sharing your story with me Clint. You inspire me to do more than I think I can.

  • Sandy Paul

    Great story of 2 passionate people crossing paths and connecting.

    So Jean, it sounds like Clint will be a guest speaker at the Mastering Social Media Seminars. Is that right?

    • Clint

      Sure thing Sandy =0]