In 2006, I felt the urge to do something else.

At the time, I was a professional poker player, but I felt like it was time to turn the page.

However, I struggled for a long time.

I wasted over $10,000 on get-rich quick programs and coaching. And it took me until early 2009 to create my first successful website.

But when things clicked, they really clicked.

At the end of 2009, I was making multiple thousands per month via my online websites. I was starting to do what I was truly interested in.

My online business allowed me to spend almost the entire year of 2010 in Spain with my girlfriend and our dog.

And in December 2011, I became a father, which means I now get to see my son grow up. I don’t have to commute anywhere, and I can fit my schedule around my life.

But it wasn’t always like this.

The Struggle

In the beginning, I was looking for a quick-fix.

I wanted shortcuts. I wanted to make money as fast as possible so I could relax and do what I loved.

I had it all backwards. And I see this in my customers and clients as well. It’s a common pitfall.

We believe that we can’t get paid to do what we love, so we look for how we can make a lot of money, which will then allow us the freedom we want.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I fell for the big promises of internet marketers. I had no one to guide me. But I still kept going, because deep down I felt like there had to be something to this.

I kept trying, failing, giving up, and trying.

The Breakthrough

And eventually, I had a breakthrough.

I realized that I had to stop looking for quick-fixes. I had to stop diluting my energy between the dozens of projects I had going on.

I was afraid of missing out on a good opportunity, so I tried to do everything all at once. I was afraid of failure, but what I didn’t see was that I had already failed by diluting my focus.

Once I saw this, I eliminated everything but one project.

I got in touch with someone who was doing what I wanted to do. I asked him what I should do, and I followed the instructions to the letter.

I took massive action, and within a few months, I was making $500 a month. This was in 2009. It was my first successful website.

After that, it grew. I started another website, and I built several other income streams. Things started changing, but it all came about from changing my mindset.

But the journey wasn’t all unicorns on rainbows.

The Inner Demons

I had to face my inner demons.

And we have to face our inner demons even if we “settle,” because that’s how life works. Life is here to throw challenges at you so you can grow.

There would be no evolution without challenges.

Starting an online business around your passion has been one of the fastest paths of personal growth for me. I constantly have to push my boundaries.

I have a lot of fears and doubts now that are still with me even though I am “successful.”

I worry that I’m not good enough. I’m afraid of what the future holds. And the list goes on. The bottom line is that we all face the same fears.

The solution is not to try and get rid of the fears, but instead rise above them, transcend them.

The way I’ve done this is to notice the awareness that I am behind my thoughts. I am not the thoughts that pop up, and I don’t have to give them power, unless I want to.

The same holds true for you. You are not the dance, you are the dance floor.

The Message

If there’s one thing I could tell the Henri just starting out, it would be to focus on one project, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I would tell him that there’s no rush.

And that there are no quick fixes.

Don’t listen to the people promising you amazing riches without any work. This takes hard work. You will struggle.

And you will want to quit.

But it’s all worth it, because when you follow your heart, your whole life changes.

I know mine certainly has.

Photo by Nas t

Henri Junttila

Henri is a freelance writer and the founder of Wake Up Cloud, where he helps people turn their passion into a thriving lifestyle business. When you feel ready to take action, grab his free special report.