Viral Nova: The Untold Backstory Of How I Made $439,234.96 Per Month

For those who have heard of me, it’s almost certainly because I created Viral Nova – a website that brought in millions of dollars and billions of visitors with no funding and no employees.

But how did it actually happen?

When you hear about a success, it’s usually talked about in a bubble. It can even seem as if someone stumbled onto some luck and got rich over night.

What you rarely hear about is the grind that led to the outcome. The countless hours and previous experiences that made it all possible.

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably someone who wants financial freedom. That’s why you’re drawn to a one-person operation that can create that independence.

So, for the first time, I’m lowering my guard and opening up. Seven years later, I’ve realized that I learned so many valuable lessons from the dramatic highs and lows of Viral Nova… and I want to share them with you.

Take my experiences and use them to fast track your own success.

This is the untold backstory of Viral Nova. I hope you enjoy.

Before Viral Nova

It turns out, I did exist before Viral Nova exploded. A lot of traditional journalists, seething with jealousy, treated me like a bad writer who got lucky. I wasn’t really ever bullied in my life until I came face to face with the New York elite media.

My Background

This isn’t a biography, so I won’t bore you with details. But I grew up in a small town in Ohio to blue collar parents. My childhood was pretty normal all around, but my shyness dictated a lot of my life.

I missed out on a lot of experiences because anxiety-induced stomach pain was a staple of my life. It was always easier to just avoid situations. I still struggle with this today.

However, introversion came with some benefits. I spent a lot more time learning, listening, and experimenting.

It’s a cruel twist of irony that introverts soak up the most knowledge but lack the confidence needed to thrive. But I always wanted to create something special – perhaps to prove to myself that I was more than I felt.

Ultimately, my dream came true when I got a computer at 15 years old. Finally, there was this machine that allowed me to pursue everything I was too shy to do in the outside world. I was addicted to learning to code, which turned into creating websites, which ultimately led me to building online communities.

Between 1998 and 2000, I built one of the highest trafficked sites on the web for the Nintendo 64 game, Goldeneye. I also built a huge editorial site all about news and rumors related to the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). The WayBack Machine didn’t capture this one very well…

I made around $1,000 off of SpiralX. For a 17 year old writing about his passion with a handful of other misfits, this wasn’t bad at all. Pretty cool in fact.

From 2000-2004, I focused on college while still always learning about building websites. But my assumption was that I’d graduate, get a job at an advertising agency, and grind my way through the corporate ladder, hoping to reach $70,000 per year by the time I was 35.

But what happened next may shock you (couldn’t resist, it’s in my blood).

The 8 Year Grind

In college, I was obsessed with Halo: Combat Evolved, an Xbox game. I entered two tournaments and won both of them (nbd). Organizing LAN parties and playing with friends was my favorite thing to do.

So when the sequel was set to release, I did what I always did: I launched a website. was born, and, little did I know, my life would never be the same.

Thanks again to the amazing WayBack Machine for the screenshot.

I launched this site in 2004 right around the same time I took an internship at a web development company. I was super excited to get offered the job.

Then I found out my salary – $17,000 per year.

This isn’t a knock on that company. They were a bootstrapped, close-knit operation with less than 20 people, so bringing on some weirdo kid at a high salary just wasn’t going to happen.

Still though, this wasn’t 2022 when jobs grow on trees. I was excited to just get a job right away.

Nonetheless, being “underpaid” was an important part of my journey. It drove me to make more money, not only at that company but on the side. I’d wake up an hour early to put the time in, and I’d get home and work on Halo2Source all evening.

There were two lightbulb moments that year.

Craig, my boss, told me about an Internet guru named Joel Comm. He wrote this e-book on how to make more money with Google Adsense, which is the ad network I was using on Halo2Source. I was making around $1 per day. It basically paid my Internet bill, but I thought that was pretty cool.

Anyway, I put Joel’s practices into play. I better blended the ads into the content by matching the colors and style. I put the ads in the suggested locations. The next day I woke up and had made $5! I literally 5x’d my money with a few tweaks.

Within a month, I had made enough changes to make $15-20 per day. This was actually meaningful to my life, but, most importantly, it opened my eyes. If $1 could become $5 and $5 could become $20, could $20 become $100 so I could make a living this way?

(Spoiler: it could.)

The other pivotal moment was when I started seeing what others were doing to make money. One of the best resources was the SitePoint forum, particularly the one dedicated to sites for sale. It’s now called Flippa, and it’s jaw-dropping how much you can learn when you see exactly what others are making and how they’re doing it.

They obviously have to put that information out there when trying to sell their site.

For me, I’d usually think, “Wow… I can do better than that.”

So I started trying everything. I built sites dedicated to the most random things: stair parts, grab bars, car washes, tennis, casinos, everything. For real… stair parts:

StairPartsNet and most of the others mentioned above were strictly SEO plays. I was trying to get traffic from Google… and it worked. Most of these sites took me one day to build and write the content, and each one profited around $3000 in their lifetime before Google got smarter.

While I obsessively tracked all of my side earnings with dreams of reaching $100 per day, I had no idea I was on the brink of something huge.

Prior Successes

YouTube began to explode in late 2005. Internet connections weren’t great and browser technology wasn’t the best, but this marked the beginning of video’s inevitable rise. Quickly, there were thousands of videos being uploaded to YouTube every day.

I noticed a site for sale, run by one person, making $30,000 per month. It was basically a curation of the funniest videos. Back then, you pretty much only had Ebaums World and, so it was still possible to stand out with such a simple aggregation.

The video curation was fine, but I knew I could do better. The problem was, WordPress and other tools didn’t exist, so I had to get a video site coded from scratch. I didn’t exactly have much of a budget, but I found a company in Pakistan that would do it for $100. Yes, $100…

Let’s just say I got what I paid for, but it was actually functional. The first version was not pretty:

The thumbnails worked back then, but the WayBack Machine isn’t perfect. Also, I had a logo, header, and sidebar but unfortunately I can’t tell you what site it was because it now directs to something your mom wouldn’t want you seeing.

Side Note: for someone who went on to be dubbed the king of clickbait, those headlines are breathtakingly bad.

Continuing, by the end of 2005, my video site had managed to make over $3,000 per month. Through focusing on handpicking the best content possible and submitting it to a dozen sites every single day, it was beginning to pay off.

I started getting a lot of direct traffic. People started linking to my videos on their own in forums and all across the web. $3,000 per month was far more than I was making from my day job.

Then something truly crazy happened.

Yahoo tried to compete with Google by launching their own ad network for publishers. They called it, to no one’s surprise, Yahoo Publisher Network. I noticed it on a competitor’s site and, in a friendly way, I messaged him about it.

He was really chill and told me it was making him $500 per day. Holy. I immediately applied, got accepted, and put the ads on my site.

I made $9,000 the first month, then $20,000, and then $30,000. That’s not cumulative; those are individual months. My mind was blown. I had made more money in a month than in a year at my job. I finally had the cushion I needed to quit.

In a worst case scenario, I would fail and just get another job in a year or two.

But it turns out, when you gain 8+ hours per day, you can absolutely thrive.

I paid $2,000 to get the site completely revamped: new design, better content management system, a comment system, and a whole lot more.

Most importantly, as you can tell from the top video, my content strategy shifted. Over time, I noticed that more extreme videos performed far better than funny ones. And by writing funny, often crude captions, readers loved it.

I was a 24 year old stupid boy, so I went wild. I posted amateur fights, skateboard accidents, car crashes, and just about anything that would shock someone.

I was an absolute perfectionist when it came to content. It was vitally important to me that every day, I had at least one video (I posted 10 every single day, including weekends) that would be the greatest video I’ve ever posted.

Falling asleep at the keyboard happened almost every day. It was exhausting, but I was striving for financial freedom and nothing was going to stop me.

Over the next year, I made $336,000.

I remember realizing I needed an actual accountant. When I was showing him my earnings, he paused and said, “Wait, what do you do?” That was a hard one to explain.

So… like… I make money monetizing people being stupid.

It wasn’t long until I started feeling burnout. That’s when I started looking into selling and discovered the magic of capital gains taxes. If I could sell my site for $500,000, I would be set to live a simple, retired life.

At least I foolishly thought.

My living expenses at the time were next to nothing. And you could reasonably make 8-10% investing in very safe assets. So after taxes, combined with what I had already made, I saw a scenario where I could make $50,000 per year for doing absolutely nothing.

After two potential deals fell apart (thankfully), I found a buyer. But he wanted 80% and for me to keep doing content. On one hand, it was a safety net, but on the other I really wanted to be done.

We agreed to an all cash deal for 80% of the site – $380,000. The buyer had two other web companies that were massive, so he had connections to improve monetization. He did exactly that. My income from owning just 20% was actually not bad, and, being a minority owner, I didn’t beat myself up as much over the perfect content.

But of course 6 months later, I was burnt out again. Together, we found a new buyer that paid us $800,000 cash, or $160,000 to me. So, all in, I sold for $540,000.

I was still only 25 at this point with a paid off house and several hundred K in the bank.

Time to retire? The housing crisis said no. Everything began collapsing, and interest rates plummetted. Previously, you could get 5% on a measly savings account, and that went away. You couldn’t even get 5% on anything.

My living expenses were still minimal, so I wasn’t worried. But it didn’t take long before I purchased a celebrity gossip site for $50,000. It was basically arbitraging traffic, so it was a high risk purchase, but it was making $8,000 per month.

Over the next couple of years, I worked about an hour a day, made $100k a year, and just lived simply. I was actually pretty happy, but it was always clear in the back of my mind that the celebrity site’s business model wasn’t sustainable.

So, I began exploring new opportunities, and that’s truly the beginning of where my entrepreneurial journey exploded.

Enter: Facebook.

Facebook had been around a while, and brands were advertising on it, but publishers didn’t really know what they were doing. They would just post a photo or a link to something on their website and call it a day. Facebook wasn’t even pulling thumbnails at that point – if you shared a link to an article about how to make pizza, it just showed this:

How To Make Pizza – Like

That’s when a very small group of people, including myself, figured out a bit of a hack.

Facebook foolishly presumed someone would click the article to see how to make pizza, enjoy it, and then come back to Facebook and click “Like.”

That would in turn automatically show up in the Feed for that person who just clicked Like. Then their friends who were interested in how to make pizza might click and, if they felt compelled, they’d click Like as well. This was fine, but where there’s a new feature, there are hungry growth hackers ready to take it to another level.

A Real Life Growth Hacking Example

Here’s how I capitalized on it.

Note: this section is long and might be difficult to follow if you don’t remember the changes made at Facebook. But it’s a great example of how just obsessively paying attention – especially while a platform is still evolving – can benefit you massively.

I created a website that was strictly quotes. Each page was a famous inspiring quote, and that’s literally all it was. Here’s why that was probably the most genius thing I’ve ever done:

  1. Sally in Florida uses the like button on my site for a quote by Mother Theresa: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
  2. All of her friends get an update in their feed saying: Sally liked If you judge people, you have no time to love themLike
  3. Mary, Brenda, and Gertrude all just see the title of the article (the quote), and think, “Aw, I love that quote.”
  4. They click Like beside it without ever going to my website at all.
  5. Now all of Mary, Brenda, and Gertrude’s friends get the same post with a convenient and easy Like button that might as well have been an I Agree button instead.

As you can imagine, this created a viral effect where a link to my website was being seen by literally tens of millions of people every day. By sheer probability, a percentage of them would click through to my site.

Then, those people would discover new quotes they agree with, click Like, and the process infinitely compounds.

I used this strategy to make as much as $90,000 per month with virtually no expenses. But it gets crazier. Way crazier.

Soon after, Facebook did two things that gave an opportunity to which only a handful of people were paying attention.

First, they changed the format from the one above to using a thumbnail and, more or less, looking similar to what a link post looks like today.

At first, I assumed my strategy was dead, which was totally fine because I had banked some serious cash and never expected it to last long.

Instead, things kept going. It turned out that, even without the easy viral-causing Like button, a thumbnail and title was way more clickable anyway.

Second, Facebook launched their open graph, which did two game-changing things:

1. You could customize how your link would show up on Facebook by telling the platform which image and which title to use.

2. Any article on the web (for example, a quote page on my website) got a corresponding Page associated to it.

So, let’s say the Mother Theresa quote had 1,000,000 likes. The open graph Page was effectively a Facebook Page (just like the ones you see today) with 1 million fans.

Continuously digging, I made a discovery. As the site owner of the article associated with one of these Pages, I could claim that Page. It was genuinely shocking to discover I was able to essentially claim dozens of Pages that had millions upon millions of fans that I could post directly to on Facebook.

Keep in mind, this was also when organic reach was very high. If you posted, you’d get seen. Not so much today.

At this point, those who were capitalizing on the original viral Like strategy had moved on because it wasn’t working anymore. But most of them had no idea Facebook gave them the greatest gift in the form of millions of fans.

So here I am, sitting on around 10 million Fans that I can reach any time I want. I noticed a few people that also caught onto this were basically spamming people for a quick buck. I had no interest in that, so I studied all of my newfound Pages.

They all had the same thing in common: they were inspiring quotes, usually based in Christianity.

In one weekend, I bought and launched it. It was a Christian video website that would host all things inspirational and happy: cute pets, soldier reunions, and anything that would make someone feel good or cry in all the right ways.

Then I chose one Page, which had no posts yet, and it was time to see what would happen. I think it had around 700,000 fans associated with it. I chose a relevant and really tearjerking video.

I watched traffic absolutely avalanche to the site. This one video with just one of my Pages made over $500. I’d never seen a clearer opportunity to scale this with more content and using more of my Pages.

From there, the site quickly ballooned to over $80,000 per month in its first 3 months. But I wanted this to last. I wanted to build a brand, not make a quick buck. I did two things:

First, I created an official GodVine Facebook Page and put an extremely relevant Like callout box on every video. Basically to funnel these new fans to the official page because I fully expected Facebook to pull the plug on open graph Pages.

I was doing nothing wrong or against any terms of service, but it was clearly a blind spot on their end.

The second thing I did, and I believe I was the first to do this, was fully take advantage of the open graph tags. I wouldn’t just let Facebook pull a random image. I would specifically make the perfect image for Facebook.

Additionally, I started optimizing headlines for Facebook. This was still before Viral Nova, but it was basically the prequel. I would normally add sensationalism to the end. For example:

The Tearjerking Performance That Brought Simon Cowell To Tears – WOW!

Combined with the perfect thumbnail, this was working well because the content delivered.

As much as traditional journalists speak through envious mouths about “clickbait,” is it really bad if the content delivers and people love it enough to share it? They were never lies, never scams, and certainly never what’s called fake news today.

I now had a traffic and revenue-generating beast while building a legitimate brand in the Christian/Inspiration space. By mid 2011, the site was consistently making $180,000 per month, had over 3 million fans on the official Page, 700,000 newsletter subscribers, and was the largest site in the vertical.

The woman who ran GodTube, the biggest competitor, hated me. Funny enough, after we met, we became really good friends for a while.

Salem Communications (owners of GodTube) ultimately bought GodVine for $4.2 million.

I launched GodVine on October 1, 2010 and sold it exactly on October 1, 2012. Poetic.

When I closed that deal, I was living in Spain. I had reached my financial goals and then some. I put all of my money in municipal bonds, wiped my hands, and said I’m done. Time to drink mojitos and do nothing til I die.

But little did I know, the greatest insanity was yet to come.

Viral Nova Was Born

In early 2013, municipal bonds took a giant dump. As an extremely risk adverse person, watching my portfolio drop 10% when I had chosen what I believed was the safest investment possible was jarring.

In hindsight, I really didn’t need to worry. But I got nervous, so I decided to launch a new site to supplement my investment income. Living the so-called dream in Barcelona wasn’t as fulfilling as you’d think.

Launching Viral Nova

In May 2013, I pondered what to do next. Since I wasn’t trying to learn a new industry, the obvious route was to build another Facebook-first website.

One of the inherent “problems” with GodVine was that it was loosely tied to religion. Even though I was posting mainstream content focused on happiness and inspiration, it still was a Christian-based website. This hindered how many people would actually visit the site.

A lot of people wouldn’t share it simply because it had the word “God” in it.

So, the obvious next step was to start a mainstream content site that was completely ambiguous of any belief. I randomly bought the domain months before because it was such a good name.

The definition of a nova is literally, “a star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months.”

That’s exactly what going viral on the Internet is, so it was the perfect domain. I still don’t think many people “got” that connection.

But anyway, it was time to launch. I took everything I had learned over the past 3 years and sketched out a simple site that would deliver amazing, shareable content.

This is a scan of the actual sketch:

I had the website up and running in about a day. I acquired a handful of large Facebook Pages that weren’t being used, and it was off to the races.

Instant (Moderate) Success

My primary skill was finding and surfacing great content, so I hired a trusted writer who knew exactly how to cover the content I found. We had an effective system, and the site quickly started making $10,000 per month pretty much right out of the gate.

I had over 3 years of internal (in my brain) data on exactly what works on Facebook, and we knew exactly how to position it. So with the newly acquired Pages, it was money in the bank.

Then a whole lot of personal things in my life went downhill, and I moved back to Ohio in August 2013. I had a 3000 square foot house with almost no furniture nor decorations. No girlfriend and no social life – just Viral Nova.

Without much else to do, I was unearthing artists, stories, and videos that were truly amazing that nobody – especially a 40+ year old audience on Facebook – had seen before. By the end of August, things were looking very good.

A Late Night Breakthrough

I wish I could somehow blow this section up and shout it from the digital rooftops.

When you become obsessed with success, you end up reading a lot. You end up going down a lot of rabbit holes. You sleep less. You are living and breathing your business.

To this day, I can’t remember how I found it, but I stumbled upon a powerpoint presentation created by the founders of Upworthy. I had never heard of them, but when I went to their site, I immediately thought, “What? These guys are completely ripping off my GodVine strategies.”

But it was so much more than that. In their presentation on how to create a clickable headline, they outlined everything.

What was coming natural to me, they had turned into this artform that even blew me away. I thought I was at the forefront of creating great headlines, but they took it to another level.

I stayed up until 3am devouring this powerpoint. Upworthy, at the time, was a very liberal publication. It was no threat to me and I was no threat to them. But their tactics were brilliant, so I immediately internalized them and began optimizing everything.

  • The headline
  • The thumbnail
  • The flow of the story
  • The share buttons

Making sure every single link in the chain was as strong as it could be was my obsession.

I even only had two advertisements on the entire site. This might’ve cost me millions of dollars, but my belief was that Viral Nova wouldn’t have become the beast that it was if I saturated it with advertisements.

My obsessive optimizations began to pay off in ways I couldn’t imagine.

Mind Blowing Numbers

In September, I made $69,000 (nice). October $132,000. November $367,000.

To be clear, these are not cumulative amounts. These are earnings per month.

It turns out, when a random website nobody has ever heard of is getting 50 million visits per month, others take notice.

The Good

Hundreds of emails and thousands of comments were being submitted. I had countless people going out of their way to thank me for creating a site that highlighted positivity and wasn’t littered with ads (I only had 2 on the entire site…). Comments were overwhelmingly positive.

Most of all, though, I was giving a voice to so many unknown artists. My favorite one was about a man named Andres Amador.

Andres had a unique art – he would take a rake to the beach and create an incredible piece right in the sand. Then an aerial photo would be taken of the masterpiece just before the tide would come in and wash it away.

When I discovered Andres, his following was just a couple thousand people. By the time the Viral Nova article featuring him was finished going viral, he had over 100,000 followers.

There was always a part of me that wondered, “what do these artists think of me featuring them?” When it comes to Andres, I didn’t have to wonder because he emailed me. I won’t go into detail out of respect for his privacy, but he told me the feature changed his entire life at a moment when he was going to give up on his passion.

He even sent me a canvas I still have hanging in my office today. This was taken when I unboxed it:

From a content standpoint, Viral Nova was an absolute blast. I was surfacing stories and people nobody had ever heard of, delivering a fresh dose of content to a hungry Facebook audience… and making ridiculous money in the process.

December and January continued to blow my mind. I will never forget Christmas Eve 2013 when I made $26,000 in a single day with two Adsense units.

Things were good. Except they also weren’t.

The Bad

What happens when one person is running an enigmatic website on a single server in New Jersey?

Well, for those who may be less technical: nightmares.

Viral Nova’s record traffic day was 7 million visitors. If I didn’t already have experience with high traffic sites, it would have been dead before the meteoric rise even began. This was before building a fast, secure website was as easy as making toast.

I stripped out absolutely everything and was delivering what basically equated to a piece of paper with some photos and text. No scripts, nothing that could possibly bog the site down. In all honesty, that simplicity could also be a reason that it worked so well.

But things still went down. They went down in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night. Watching real-time analytics was bittersweet because traffic was pouring in, but I was locked to my computer in case the server took a much needed break.

The thousands of dollars per day were literally clouded by the inability to do anything at all without worrying about the site.

But that was just bad. It was also very ugly.

The Ugly

Two types of people made my life miserable once Viral Nova exploded.

  • Traditional journalists.
  • Copyright trolls.

When there’s freak, sudden success, a lot comes with it. Keep in mind – at this point, I’m still just one person operating a website without really fully understanding how big it is. I was used to running big sites and, if GodVine didn’t have the word “God” in it, this would have happened to me much earlier.

The first horror story began with a man named Alex.

Alex was calling me, emailing me, and contacting me in every way you can possibly imagine with questions about Viral Nova. I’m mostly alone in my Ohio house that backs up to a cornfield, so I’m just ignoring all of this without really thinking about it too much.

It started to give me a feeling of being stalked. Nobody had ever known who I was before this, so it was just bizarre all around.

So when I woke up on December 2nd, 2013 and noticed a lot of traffic was coming from The Atlantic…

The article was horrifying. I remember reading it and thinking, “I need a lawyer.” The entire article covered virtually everything about my personal life and business, some of it untrue.

To Alex’s credit, he did a thorough job. Of course, for someone covering what he described as basically bottom-feeding filth of the Internet, imagine your job being to essentially dox someone who isn’t a public figure?

But that’s neither here nor there.

When a selfie you took and posted to your personal account for friends ends up plastered all over the Internet.

This article set off a firestorm of publicity I didn’t want. There was literally no benefit (at least in my mind at the time) of all of this exposure I didn’t want. I was making ridiculous money while miserably trying to keep it afloat, and now mainstream media is knocking on my door.

For a couple of months following, it seemed like everything became an article.

And I mean everything. For example, I Tweeted this while in line at Starbucks:

Two days later, this was published to BusinessInsider:

It was wild and unwanted. After trying to embrace it for a few weeks, I finally pulled the plug.

It was time to just get out and take my life back.

Selling Viral Nova

At this point, the money really didn’t matter. I was depleted in every way imaginable. Fortunately, the publicity meant finding a buyer – even at a low ball offer – would be mildly easy.

Finding A Buyer

Several brokers had already reached out at this point. I let one in particular feel it out, and it didn’t take long for the news of selling to travel.

Kinda perfect really.

From private equity companies to Disney, I had several conversations. One thing is almost always certain when you are trying to sell a company: nobody listens when you say, “I want to be completely done with it.”

It’s like they hear it and immediately put it on the backburner, assuming they’ll find a way to keep you around.

And that’s exactly what ended up happening.

Completing The Sale

One individual pretty quickly rose above the other interested buyers because he was straightforward. I said I wanted all cash and a quick deal, and that’s what he offered.

At this point, I had very little experience with “real” business: management teams, raising money, etc were completely foreign to me.

The offer on the table was basically a little under $4 million for 75% with $900k of that to be paid at the 6 month mark, which meant me sticking around.

Contractually, I could leave at the 6 month mark and move on. That was my plan, so I took the deal.

If you’re looking at these numbers and wondering why I’d accept such an amount, keep in mind that traffic had just gotten cut in half and the site was barely 1 year old.

The new buyer was certainly taking a risk and I really wanted out. But I hadn’t seen anything yet.


I decided to remove the remaining 2000 words of this article.

While I did not use any names, and I certainly respect that each individual involved thought they were doing what was best, the Viral Nova saga ended in a toilet factory of lawsuits.

That’s not something I ever want to repeat by somehow accidentally defaming someone.

As you can see, there’s trauma here.

Lessons Learned

Most importantly, I learned lessons that immediately shaped my future.

Stay Under The Radar

This may seem contrary to what I’m doing right now, but building without anyone knowing who I am became vitally important.

Nothing distracts you from creating greatness more than people bothering you or, even worse, insulting your work.

The company I built after Viral Nova was never known by any of the soul-sucking people who stole the life from Viral Nova. I built it to nearly 30 million visits a month, became a top 10 publisher on Facebook, and sold it.

Never Let Myself Be Used

I was very naive in 2014 and 2015. While I still don’t think anybody was being purposely malicious, I met a lot of people who see others as objects.

A means to whatever end they’re seeking.

And I was a very easy person to use. I promised myself I’d always approach new relationships with skepticism and doubt. It’s unfortunately what you need to do because, for some people, it truly is a dog eat dog world.

Do The Right Thing

After selling a majority of Viral Nova, I ended up witnessing the next sale as more of a viewer than a participant. It wasn’t pretty at all, and it was an example of both sides trying to get as much as possible out of the other.

That isn’t a partnership. It’s a mutual attempted robbery.

Following that ordeal, it became important to me to do the opposite. Treat your contractors, viewers, partners, ad networks, and everyone else like partners.

It’s incredible how true “what comes around, goes around” is when it comes to business. If you spend your time trying to suck as much out of everybody as you possibly can, you might succeed, but you’re still a terrible person.

Money-first strategies can work, but they often don’t work. Money naturally comes when you’re providing value.


Here’s a fun fact: the entire “Life Lessons” section above was eaten by my WordPress admin. I am not sure how, but it was about twice as long as what I just rewrote. It’s gone, even from the revisions section.

The fun challenges of websites never end. 🙂

Anyway, that’s just about everything before and during Viral Nova. I hope it helps you in some way or another.

The grind can be grueling, but, if you just keep going, keep learning, and keep and open mind, you’ll stumble upon that life-changing moment.

And why not keep going? The alternative is that you have to keep going anyway without any promise of change.

Photo of author

Scott DeLong

I'm an introvert who has built and sold multiple companies for millions of dollars - without funding or employees. I've been featured in BusinessWeek, Business Insider, Fortune, Inc, and more. I hope you find my site helpful to your own entrepreneurial journey.