How I ended up in the South Pacific
and made a Web Site about the Cook Islands
My name is Carey and I grew up in Sydney (Australia )
I first came to the Cook Islands in the mid 1990's after reading about these islands in a book Titled ‘ An Island to One Self'.
A friend of mine, Peter Jinks presented this book for to me to read after one of our long and leisurely Sunday breakfasts at a favourtie cafe of ours - The Bondi Tratt.
These Sunday breakfast could range from a group of 2-4 people up to 30+ and last from 20 minutes or up to mid-day , and if weather permitting would culminate with a few hours on the beach afterwards.
I didn’t realize what an impact that book of some 100+pages would have on me and my life over the following years.
I had always been an enthusiastic traveler, however had always had to put in long hours at work doing the '9-5 grind' to pay for long plane trips to destinations around the globe. And the same was when I made the decision to travel to the Cook Islands for the first time.
The beauty of this Island Group was immediate and long lasting. Here, in the middle of the pacific, way off the tourist route was a tiny country made up of 15 pristine ‘jewels’ of islands stretching from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. It was far enough away to be cut off from the ‘hassels‘ of big city life, but still close enough to stay in contact with family and friends. I had stumbled upon my perfect tropical destination, a land in the sun, a island paradise that time had left alone to be itself, unhurried, relaxed and full of natural beauty
So now, on vacation in 1997 I find myself in a place where you could actually step off the ‘merry-go-round’ and stop and smell the roses ( Hibiscus and Frangipani, actually ). Life was relaxed; the living was true tropical Polynesian lifestyle.
One of the best holiday’s destinations of all time…
Back in Sydney town
Vacation over, back to Sydney - and into the grind again.
Caught up again in Sydney’s gridlock and congestion the years on the 'merry-go-round' slowly ground on, but the thoughts of returning to that island never faded. Yearly trips back to this paradise had its grip on me and satisfied the travel cravings ( periodically ). At the end of the year 2000, after 'not so careful planning', I arrived back on the shores of Rarotonga and set up the Saltwater Café (from scratch) in the village of Turoa on the island of Rarotonga.
The café grew from a small little take-away opening 4 hours a day, using a small domestic stove and one Black and Decker domestic deep fryer to a respectable 40 seat café, complete with the latest commercial equipment and pumping out repeat orders of Cappuccinos and Skinny Lattes, Mexican and Thai food, Frozen Margaritas and Tropical cocktails from 8 am till 10pm and (sometime mid night ).
Life was good, business was doing well, however once again, I was back on the ‘Merry–go-round’, the only difference was that I was doing it all in Board Shorts and T-shirts and doing it all in the middle of the South Pacific on a little island measuring only 32 kilometers in circumference. My travel cravings were stiffled as I was 'hands-on' making a living. The bigger the cafe grew, the more I found I was 'tied' to it - unable to break away. That tie was becoming a noose around my travel hungry neck.
I knew that there had to be a better way to make ends meet. I was doing my own thing and out of the big city, but working twice as hard as I was back in Sydney. In my new life as the Tropical Barista in the Pacific, I was always in contact other fellow travelers who were coming and going, they at least were able to satisy (some of) my travel craving. They were experiencing the travel - I was just on the listening end. As fate would have it though, it was from one of those ‘chance’ conversations, on the verandah of the Saltwater café, I learnt a very valuable lesson, it was defining the difference between having a business or having a job. Be it right or wrong – it made complete sense to me and THAT was the turning point which lead to me selling the cafe and doing what I do now.
Do I have a Business or do I have a JOB
The lesson I learnt, i.e. the difference between having a job and a having a business I will cover off a bit further down the page.
...is was so simple, and I still wonder why it took me so many years to find it ( again ):
I say again, because I was given that insight to the solution many years ago, from a highly skilled business man that I worked for in Sydney. The company was Remington Office Machines–and this highly skilled business man was Mr. Herman Eisenberg.
"Make a living by doing what you love doing!".
...Never do anything...just for the money...
Herman Eisenberg spoke these words to me shortly after I joined his company and he expanded on this, months later, by saying, "never do anything just for the money", "do something because you love doing it, and if you put it in that order, then money will always follow".
I remember his words clearly and can remember (at that time ) wondering how to put his words into action. I was 24 years old at the time and was in too much of a hurry just trying to make ends meet. At 24 I just didnt have the time nor the foresight to be able to decipher what he meant. However it did sound right to me, and in my young mind it did make perfect sense, even all those years ago, because here I was, 26 years later, and it was still ringing true to me –only now, I was determined to unravel the meaning.
If I was to make a living doing what I loved doing, then it wouldn’t matter how many hours a day I put into it – it would be something that I enjoyed, and the more enjoyment, then the more time I would put into it – " make sense to me " – but what did I love doing so much that that I could do it everyday and would provide me with an income to make life comfortable and rewarding? Travelling I loved, and I could do it every day, but I couldnt see how THAT was going to pay the bills
It was now 2009, the internet was all around us, and this was also something I liked to ‘tinker with’, however, simple emails and browsing the web looking for cooking recipes for the cafe and a bit of word processing was all I was capable of. I had always wanted to know how to build a web site, and I cant even remember how I came across the site that I did (SBI),but that was the beginning from ditching the job , to owning a business and back into travelling
A chance meeting that changed my life
By Chance - The definition of the difference between a job and a business was given to me from a customer sitting on my verandah at the café. He was sitting dining and obviously very relaxed, confident and comfortable. He had a baseball cap on and I had noticed on the cap the words Harvard Business School embroidered on the back of it.
I wondered if he was indeed a graduate of Harvard or if he was just was wearing a hat that he may have picked up somewhere.
As I was attending to the other customers, I remained pre-occupied with the thoughs of wanting to find out if this customer was the Guru whom I could ask some business advice from. But how could I ask for advice and get a succinct answer to such a deep question that may have taken this person years and years of study, and then get it all wrapped up in a few words of enlightenment before he left my cafe.
After 20 minutes of relaxing and dining with his family, he stood ready to leave. I still didn’t know if he was the Real Harvard Graduate of was a person wearing a nice hat with nice embroidery .
I thought I would grab the opportunity to ask anyway. I would at least save me having to wonder ‘what if’ for the next how many years – so I did. As he approahed me to pay for his meal, I commented on the wording on his cap, asking him if indeed he attended Harvard
Standing next to his wife and his two young children, he confirmed he was a Harvard Business School Graduate and that he was holidaying here in Rarotonga. So I asked him, with all of his experience and knowledge, could he summaries to a few words what he thought would contribute to the success of any business.
Can you please explain
Taking a single breath he said that it was important when building and running a business, to have around you, people of like mind, and to remunerate them so well, that they would do their very best for that business. It was then taking his second breath that he added. "You know though, ( which I didn't )there is a difference between having a job and having a business".
I could see he was waiting for me to ask him to explain that point.
He then said "if you need to attend to your business everyday, personally, and when you are not there, then the business stops performing, then in reality, all you have a job".
If, however, you can travel, and do other things and be ‘away’, with the knowledge that all is under control and performing well, then that’s when you know you have a business".
These words of his hit me in the face like a plank of wood.
I thanked him for his time, we shook hands, and he left.
That was at mid-day and I was to put in a further 8 hours work, before I could call it a day, and after the last customer had left the cafe that night, after the staff had cleaned and reset the cafe for the next mornings ‘rush hour’ and they also had gone home, I sat and re-evaluated what I had, and how I was doing it, and realized I was still very fortunate, and living in a great place, and I had a really nice ...JOB...and it kept me busy 6 days a week, from early morning to way into the night
I yearned to have a …BUSINESS…
Those words of his kept playing on my mind "a BUSINESS, different from having a JOB". Being able to travel again, earn an income, have the business under control - it was intoxicating language - Having a business. That would give me the opportunity to travel again. Having a business that would supply me an income, yet not have to be ‘at the office’ or ‘Café’ or ‘wherever’ and still see the income coming thru.
6 months after that chance meeting, I had sold the Saltwater Cafe and converted the spare bedroom of my home into an office, and was firmly and comfortably working from home. Travelling time and distance from getting up in the morning and to my office was 20 paces and only took 59 seconds. Or I could get up and sit and enjoy a morning coffee on the balcony and watch others going off to their jobs.
Dont get me wrong - It is not that I don’t work now, actually I put in some very long days, and I still work hard , but I am doing something that I enjoy doing and I get time to myself and the family , and I can travel once again, with the knowledge that my 'Business' ( and income) is well looked after... I put in some very long days, but I enjoy each one of them and they go quickly. I travel, sometimes weeks at a time, however the results of the hard work and long hours, when back home, keep rolling in, even when I am travelling (and even when I am sleeping ), the results are continuous .
How is this possible? I mentioned above, a web site that I came across when looking for recipes for the cafe, SBI
It finally all started to come together
SBI stands for Site Build It! and it helps you to turn any hobby or passion or skill that you may have into a viable online business. You probably would never have known but almost any topic can make money with a website.
You are probably asking yourself right now "Me, Build a website?!" Well then remember back, I was the one who could browse the internet, a little, some basic emailing and word processing and that was about it.
BUT NOW - This whole website you are currently on, was built by me, with SBI, so you see... anyone can do it.
"Step outside your comfort Zone; amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic."
With this Product- You need no programming skills or web design knowledge, no business and no product to sell. Just bring your brain and motivation. SBI has all the tools you need, and they take you by the hand and teach you step by step how to use everything.
They help you find the perfect topic for your site, show you how to build it, how to get traffic to it, and then they even teach you how to make money with it, no matter what it is about!
Yes, in the beginning there is a lot of work. And keep in mind that this IS NOT a get rich quick scheme - far from it.
But doing something you love never feels like work. And you can do it in your spare time. YOU set the pace.
The main thing is, it's totally risk free. SBI has a full money back guarantee. They're happy for you to try it out to see how you like it.
How do I make money? At the moment a lot comes in with advertising. You probably saw the links throughout the site that say "Ads by Google". Every time someone is interested and clicks on one I make money.
Putting it all together
I also have sales from the Real Estate listings; these also are the vehicle for the advertising.
There are countless other ways to make money with a website: create your own e-goods to sell, sell other people's products for a commission, (which is what the real estate listings are) get paid for leads and referrals and more. Solo Build It shows you how to do all that.
You can get some more ideas from what other Solo Build It’ers are doing. Just have a look at the case studies.
I have people asking me how I got started into my ‘business’ and how they wish they could do something like what I am doing – operate from home, no peak hour traffic to and from the ‘work place’, how to escape the 9-5 rat race and gridlock ,how can they spend more time with the family, or recreation. Well you can – you can do exactly what I have done, and it is completely risk free – full money back guarantee. Start off slowly, do it part time, and when the time is right, then move over from your current employment to full time on your site when it is financially viable.
Unless you are currently financially independant then I would suggest to start off ‘part-time’ keep your current employment and when the time is right ( and you will know when this is from the income you generate thru your site) , then go full time.
Read here the many stories on those who have done just that
So How do I Start ??
1- Gather all the information
2- Start slowly
Ask other SBI owners how they did it - and are doing it