Today I turn 31 years old.
As I look back on my life, I find there are numerous micro-milestones that have led me to where I am today. Before I continue into my next year of life, I want to put everything into perspective with a “performance review” which I’ll use to guide myself toward the pursuit of future goals, milestones, and dreams.
History of Work:
- Newspaper Delivery Boy
- McDonald’s ‘Chef’
- Potato Chip Factory Cleaner
- Bouncer/Security at a Nightclub
- Factory Worker
- Demolitions/Glorified Janitor
- Grass Cutter/Lawn Maintenance
- Poker/Blackjack Dealer
- Tree Planter
- Fruit Picker
- Camping Store Clerk
- Front Desk Staff (University Job)
- Door-to-Door Sales
- 2010 G20 Security
- Social Worker
- English Teacher
- Website Developer
- Digital Marketer
When I was in university, I spent some time discussing my life, education, and career with a counselor. I remember being told, “you will have between 11 to 17 different careers in your lifetime.”
Well, my counselor was right.
I’ve had quite a few jobs over the years. Some I loved, a few I hated, and others I worked simply to pay the bills.
My Favorite Hustle
2010 G20 Summit – Security Guard:
- Earned $500 CAD for 1-week security training
- Free security license
- $4000 working 12-hour shifts for 9 days protecting politician’s and rich people’s cars in the parking garage *Yawn*
- Estimated Hourly: $37 / Hour
In 2010, my cousin told me about a job opportunity to work as a security guard for the G20 Summit. I never applied to this job. I simply walked into the orientation session at the Toronto Public Library, placed my name on a piece of paper, and got recruited for the job.
I spent a week learning how to be a security guard. I was paid $500 for this. Then, I had to take a test to obtain my security license (paid for by the Government of Canada). I passed and underwent an extensive background check before I could officially work for the G20 Summit.
Overall, I worked about 9 consecutive days and earned $4000 simply by standing in a parking garage looking at politicians and rich people’s cars all day.
This was the easiest, yet most boring, $4500 Canadian dollars I’ve ever earned.
Total Estimated Money Earned:
- $257,813.06 CAD
This may not be accurate, however, based on some of my tax returns and the amounts I documented, this is how much money I have earned since the day I was born.
Highest Hourly Wage:
- Approximately $200 CAD / Hour
When I was started my own Private English Teaching, I had a private group of students from a big technology company. I taught 1.5 hours per week per month. There were 10 or 11 students in this class. Each student paid ¥10,000.
(¥10,000 * 10) / 6 Hours = ¥16,666 / Hour
Not bad, huh?
Best Monthly Income:
- Approximately $4500 CAD / Month
When I was living in Shunan, Japan, these were some of the best business years of my life. I hated working for the local English schools and I decided to quit and start my own Private English Teaching. Within 8 months, I developed a method of teaching, marketed my English services daily, and grow the business to about 65+ students.
In total, I reached a monthly income of ¥376,000 / Month.
I was approached by an investor and offered $25,000 USD to turn my little business into an official school. Want to know what happened next? Subscribe to my Newsletter (I’ll be publishing an entire series on my Private English Teaching in the next few weeks).
Total Countries Traveled:
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
My 20s were some of the best years of my life (so far). In 2015, I sold almost all my belongings then flew to Japan with a bicycle and a few bags to start the most adventurous journey I could imagine.
You can find my survival stories and travel tips on my other blog, TheCrazyCanadian.com.
- 2011: Started my first solo trip, 8-months hitchhiking from Toronto to Vancouver Island
- 2012: Graduated from Univeristy (BSc. Biomedical Sciences with a double minor in Biology and Psychology)
- 2012: Raised $1000 CAD during a cycle-tour fundraiser from Toronto to St. John’s for Boost: Child & Youth Advocacy Center
- 2013: Completed an Applied Counselling program at the University of Manitoba
- 2014: Earned $10,000+ CAD in less than 1.5 months planting trees
- 2014: Sold my belongings and flew to Tokyo, Japan to embark on the great journey of my life
- 2015: Started my first business as a Private English Teacher
- 2016: Raised ¥100,000+ to provide relief after a devasting earthquake that destroyed Kumamoto, Japan on April 16, 2016
- 2016: Paid off my Student Line of Credit (approx. $14,000 CAD)
- 2017: Sold my English business for $2000+ CAD
- 2017: Moved to Taiwan to study and start my next business in Digital Marketing
- 2018: In October, I returned to Canada a company
- 2019: Officially launched my copywriting business – CopyAdsContent.com
Future Goals & Milestones
There are a few things I aim to achieve over the next year, here are my top 5 goals and milestones throughout my 31st year of life:
#1. Publish My First Book
There are so many people who have been expecting me to publish a book. I’ve also been pushing myself to write a book but I have had no idea where to start or what to do.
This year, I promise both myself and all the people who have been craving my stories and perspective to publish a book before my 32nd birthday.
#2. Travel to India
For years, I’ve been craving a trip to India. I’m not sure where and I’m not sure where I’ll go, but I really want to go to India.
Do you want to come with me?
I think I’d prefer to have a travel companion for this trip. If you’re interested, send me an email and we can plan a 1-month adventure in India sometime between July and August 2020.
#3. Start a Masters Degree
Education is important to me. I’ve been thinking about going back to school for the past few years. Either, I’ll start a program with the Harvard Extension School and take a certificate program in business management, business strategy, or marketing; or, I’ll find a school in Asia to embark on a 2-year MBA program.
#4. Post 100+ New Articles Under My Name
Since I became a copywriter, I have spent a lot of time as a ghostwriter. This means many of the articles I have written were under the name of the client or business that commissioned those who ordered my writing.
This year, I intend to focus on my blogs and websites. I want to post more than one hundred articles under my name, share my expertise and knowledge, and help as many people as possible in their personal and business pursuits.
Here are a few of the places where you can find my upcoming posts:
- JefvandeGraaf.com – Articles about achieving goals by creating micro-milestones.
- TheCrazyCanadian.com – Articles that revolve around survival stories and travel tips from my 4+ years riding a bicycle around Asia.
- BuildAnOnlineBusiness.io – Articles about digital marketing and how to build your own online business.
- CopyAdsContent.com – Articles for companies, startups, and entrepreneurs to attract prospective customers and grow their revenue with copywriting.
- PrivateEnglishTeaching.com – Articles about how to start your own Private English service (both online and in-person).
#5. Earn $10,000 CAD per month
After registering a company in 2018, I spent a year bouncing from country to country, trying to build stability and balance into my life and career. Previously, I had the habit of moving around from city to city by bicycle. The urge to travel and see new places is irresistible.
However, in order to successfully grow a business, I needed to dedicate time and attention to the foundation of my financial growth. So, after a year of struggle and uncertainty (and a few business failures), I’ve finally found my balance and I’m going to focus this next year on the growth and profitability of my business.
To be totally honest, I have no idea how I’m going to achieve $10,000+ CAD per month. However, given the history I have, I find that every goal and milestone I make, my mind has a mysterious way of focusing time, energy, and attention on creating its own unique path to achieving it.
O.K., that’s all for now! Feel free to sign-up for my newsletter to receive updates on my progress.
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