Get Busy Living with Benny Hsu

benny-hsu

Benny Hsu

This is a Guest Story by Benny Hsu, who blogs over at Get Busy Living and who inspires others to live the best life they can possibly live.

After I graduated college, I thought life would be awesome. I had gotten good grades in high school and got a master’s degree in college. I did what I was supposed to do.

So after college, I continued to do what everyone else expected of me. I got a job. I bought a house. I had a nice car. I worked long hours and weekends. Coming home dead tired was supposed to be a sign of putting in a good day at work.

I should be happy because this is how life is supposed to be.

I had never been more unhappy in my life. I’d come home from work and be unmotivated to do anything else. I’d spend my hours numbing the pain by surfing the web and watching TV.

However deep inside I knew I wanted more. I knew I could do more with my life. I had big dreams, but they seemed so far away from where I was.

I kept hoping that one day I’d wake up and my life would change. I expected miracles to happen. Why? Probably cause I felt like I deserved it. I had done everything I was supposed to do, so why was I so unhappy?

One night in October 2010, I decided to make a change. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was driving home from another miserable night at work. I was fed up with my life, like many other nights. For so long, I had wanted a happier life and do work I was proud of, however I didn’t do anything about it.

I came to realize that night that I needed to do something. I needed to take action and work on changing my life and not stop till I was happy.

I needed to stop using hope as a strategy and put in the hard work.

I wrote a note to myself and taped one on my wall behind my computer and my bathroom mirror. I would be reminded every day of how I felt that night, and remind me to stop complaining and wasting time.

I started to research online about blogging. I had started many blogs before, but never kept long term interest in them. My dream was to have a thriving blog, with a great community, and to make money from it.

In Februrary of 2011 I started my blog, Get Busy Living. This time wrote about personal development because I had always been reading books about it to better my life. I just didn’t do much with the advice.

I started to help myself put into the habit these priciples of success and to share it with others.

It was around this time I found Tentblogger.com and learned so much about building a great community and content. I learned as much as I could about blogging.

I also started to explore developing iPhone apps. I’ve been a fan of the iPhone since day one, but didn’t think about developing apps till a couple years later. I had an idea, but thought I needed to learn programming. Again, another blog came to me at the right time. I learned that I could outsource the work as they had done.

So I bought an ebook to learn how to hire and outsource my work. The app was finished and released on August 8, 2011. I didn’t know what to expect. I just hoped to make my $1,900 back. But if I didn’t earn a penny, I would take satisfaction that I tried and achieved one of my goals.

The first day I told my social network about it. I didn’t even blog about it. A couple small blogs contacted me for a free copy to do a review.

Still wasn’t sure what to expect but leading into the weekend, I saw sales increase everyday. By Monday I had made over $1,000 already! I couldn’t believe this. I couldn’t tell where all the downloads were coming from, but I’m guessing from searching in the App store.

The following week sales were declining daily. I thought this is the end of this nice run and my app would get lose forever in the store.

photo-365

Photo 365

Then on Thursday, I saw I was featured on New and Noteworthy. A spot any app developer would love! That weekend alone I earned $4,739.

My good luck continued because on a Tuesday I got an email from Apple marketing asking for art assets. I knew this was something important. I did a Google search, but couldn’t find too much. I went to a iPhone developers forum to ask around. Someone told me it was a big deal, but there’s not guarantee they will feature the app.

I needed to get this done in just 19 hours! Thankfully my brother is a Photoshop wizard, so he helped me create the art I needed.

I sent it on Wednesday morning and waited. I knew every Thursday they update the App store, but not sure exactly what time. I got a private message in a forum from another developer. It said congrats!

I went to the App store and saw Photo 365 as App of the Week.

I hit the app lottery! Any developer would love this feature and usually big companies with investment funding have their apps featured here.

I was just a guy who outsourced my work and paid $1,900 for it.

That week every morning felt like Christmas. I couldn’t wait to go to bed so I could wake up and see the sales. I was earning over $1000 a day with my highest being $1900!

After that week sales slowly declined, but that was expected. Still in the first 30 days, I had earned $32,000.

From that success, I started my own company called Get Busy Living LLC. I had hoped I could start my own business one day, but because of Photo 365, I was able to make that a reality.

Besides Photo 365, I have a new app called Gratitude 365 which is a beautifully design gratitude journal app.

What lessons can you take away:

I failed many times. I’ve done so many make money online ideas in the past. Affiliate marketing. Niche websites. PPC. Anything to make a quick buck. I tried but quickly lost interest when I didn’t see positive results.

I didn’t fail. Instead I realized what I didn’t like to do. That was very important to me because I always had so many ideas, but didn’t know where to start.

At least when I failed, I was able to try it out and realize it wasn’t for me.

1. Do something you enjoy

I love developing iPhone apps. I love to blog and inspire others with my story and experience. I love writing. I love to create.

I didn’t really love creating a website about baby strollers, though I don’t even have a kid. I didn’t love trying to get people to give me their email address for a cash loan so I could make some money.

2. Create your own luck

For so many years I hoped I would wake up lucky. I didn’t feel like doing any work. I wanted success to come to me quickly.

I realized I was very lucky to get featured as App of the Week in just my third year. Some people develop apps for years and never get there!

This time I created my own luck. I put myself in a position where good things could happen. When they did, I was prepared to take advantage of it.

You aren’t just on a lucky or unlucky streak. It depends so much on what you’re doing and the outlook on your life.

3. Deliver value

Whether it’s in your blog content, the service your sell, or the products create. Think about the value you’re giving someone. What will they get out of it?

For Photo 365 the idea is to take a photo a day and save it. Repeat that for 365 days and at the end of a year, you have a great collection of photos to look back on.

It helped them remember their year one photo at a time.

With Gratitude 365, I wanted to encourage others to start the daily habit of writing in a gratitude journal. Since we always have our iPhones with us, it’s easy to take a moment and write what you’re thankful for. So many areas of you life will improve if you do it consistently.

Some apps deliver value by entertaining them for a short period of time. If it’s entertaining, people will pay for it.

For my other online money making ideas, my main focus wasn’t on providing value, but how much money I could make. I took the wrong approach.

4. Don’t sit on the sidelines

If you’ve always had a goal, think about taking action and get started on your goals. You can’t have success sitting on the sidelines watch.

Imagine if I had kept wishing I could have iPhone app, even though I had all the resources I needed. If I had kept watching new apps appear in the App store every day, I wouldn’t be able to tell you this amazing story.

So you have to be in the game if you want to have a chance.

5. Changes will happen, but you won’t be able to tell

From that night in October 2010, I wanted to change. I didn’t like the person I had become. I was so negative, bitter, and was the heaviest I had ever been in my life.

Change wasn’t going to happen over night. I wouldn’t lose 20 pounds in a week or even a month. I wouldn’t wake up and feel happy and inspired to work on my goals everyday.

I began running and eating healthier. I decided to train for a half marathon. The first time I ran I couldn’t do it for more than 30 minutes. Two months later I finished my first race in 2 hours.

I had to change the way I talked to myself. I had to stop feeing my brain with crap like the news. I had to slowly elminate my bad habits and encourage new ones.

I couldn’t see the changes I was making daily. If you saw me, you wouldn’t be able to tell.

But every day I would make a small change until one day it all came together and resulted in the success of Photo 365.

To some, it may look like an overnight success, but that day took ten months from the day I decided to take responsibility for my life to being featured as App of the Week.

I’ve never been happier and more excited about my future.

If anything started me on this new road in life, it’s this one piece of advice. Take responsibility for 100% of everything in your life.

When stop complaining and blaming others, and start deciding on you think, behave, and act, amazing things can happen.

  • http://twitter.com/kfdpcom kfd&p (@kfdpcom)

    Love this blog! I needed this spurt of motivation today. Will pass it along to my husband also!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much!

  • http://twitter.com/MaryDeMuth Mary DeMuth (@MaryDeMuth)

    I can’t praise this post enough. Love, love, love. Sometimes we have to get pushed to the end our ourselves to realize we’re not living the life we want. I went through something similar this year, letting go of part of my career (successful!) to pursue my passion full hearted. It’s a scary place to be “all in,” but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Thank you for sharing your story, Benny. It blessed.

  • http://tammyhelfrich.com tammyhelfrich

    Great advice! Love this post. Congrats on making the decision to do something. It’s amazing how many more things change once you make that first step.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Tammy! I’m happy I finally did something too. I’m enjoying life much more and have a sense of what I want to do. All because I took that first step.

  • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com jbledsoejr

    Great post and story!!! Thank you for sharing! I can relate, and there are many “nuggets” to help me create more of what I want in my life.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks!! I’m glad that John shared my story here.

  • http://lifestoked.com Deacon Bradley

    LOVE point number 5. I think that a lot of people give up when they don’t see instant results. You’re totally right though, it takes a looooong time of taking the right actions over and over to really see a change. Just like Darren Hardy teaches in The Compound Effect – by the time you start to separate yourself, no way anyone can catch you!

    Way to set a great example by getting out there and DOING something Benny!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Deacon! I love the Compound Effect! Helped me so much with changing my life.

  • http://www.charlesspecht.com Charles Specht

    Loved this article, Benny. Your story is inspirational, but your wisdom is timeless. Thank you for sharing it!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment about it! Appreciate the kind words.

  • http://marleeward.com Marlee

    Benny! You rock. I had no idea you made a gratitude app. I’m all OVER that! Congrats on all the wins my friend. :)

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Marlee!!! Hello fellow Floridian!! Thanks so much for your super kind words!

  • http://1igameaday.blogspot.com Shakthi

    Benny, I really want congratulate you. You took the first step, created your luck. I am happy for your success, that you could achieve your dream. But, pardon me. I have issues with outsourcing. On the flip side, I am here in india, thinking about the guy who got hired and did the job. I decided, never to become a tool of the outsource, instead try and die myself.

  • http://webshoo.com R. Anthony Solis

    wow. Inspiring story. John and Ben, thanks for bringing such an authentic perspective on blogging as well as life.

    I have done everything with the Internet, since the early dot.com’s (90′s) and left because I was not happy with the the emphasis on the bottom line instead of people. Since then I took a detour with other small business ventures, all of which left me unsatisfied.

    3 years ago, I decided to get back into the web. I tried everything, affiliate marketing, niche sites, WP business and so on. I don’t know, like you Ben, can’t write about Baby strollers or cribs… :)

    I remember John’s blog when it was first starting out and I’m a big fan of his StandardTheme, so I decided to check out his progress. Glad I did.

    I am inspired once again, to simply be me and do what I need to do. Along with that, allow for Divine Providence to take it’s course too.

    _RAS

  • http://jeansandtie.com/ Jacob K. Bluhm

    What was the name of the ebook you read Benny? Can you offer any recommendations or advice about the outsourcing process for developing apps?

  • ThatGuyKC

    I tried a 365 photo project in 2011 and made it to about 240 photos. Gonna try it again this year using Benny’s app and see what happens!