I’m going to take you back to March 2013. That’s when it all started for me with Wealthy Affiliate – a platform buzzing with the promise of online entrepreneurship. I jumped in headfirst, eager to learn and create. Building my website felt like crafting my own digital real estate, and networking with others through WA’s community platform? That was like being at the coolest industry mixer, but online.

Scrabble pieces spelling Dream, Plan, Act

Sure enough, the experience paid off. I even made my first Wealthy Affiliate referral sale. At that point, I was on cloud nine, feeling like a pioneer in my own right. But as we all know, life has a penchant for throwing curveballs. The following year, I let my membership lapse. I guess ‘life’ happened. And at the time, it just wasn’t the right place for me to focus.

Admittedly, there was a lot going on. A full-time job in the IT field kept me busy, but the biggest joys came from family – our first grandchild was born, and trust me, that’s a game changer. Plus, we were stoking other fires offline, nurturing ventures that demanded our attention.

Those early days at Wealthy Affiliate planted seeds that have stayed with me, even as life’s seasons changed. Now, as I transition to the second section of our story, I can’t help but marvel at how these initial steps laid a path filled with twists, turns, and rewarding surprises.

Life’s Twists and Turns: Embracing Change and Opportunity

A winding twisting road in the countryside

A lot is happening very quickly, isn’t it? Take it from me, the only constant in life is change. Embracing it isn’t just an option; it’s a necessity, especially when it comes to steering through the unpredictable waters of life. That brings me to the period after I stepped away from Wealthy Affiliate, a time filled with twists, turns, and remarkable opportunities.

In 2016, my family and I embraced a significant change; we moved to Hocking Hills in south-central Ohio. This move wasn’t only a change of scenery; it was like hitting the reset button on our life’s game console. With the relocation, the chance to launch an offline business came about. This isn’t just about starting fresh; it’s also about challenging yourself in new ways. That business I mentioned? We nurtured it and then sold it six years later for a handsome profit, which felt incredibly rewarding.

Now, the personal side—my family grew. And by that, I mean we’ve been blessed with five grandchildren, one girl and four boys, which includes a set of identical twins! The wonders of family life never cease, do they? Just when you think your heart is full, it gets fuller. We recently found out that grandchild number six, a girl, is on the way. This time, my daughter shares the joy of parenthood, which adds to our excitement.

Through these years, some plans worked out just as meticulously charted, while others took detours. This mix of predictability and surprise is what makes life thrilling, but also a bit daunting. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to keep your eyes on the horizon and your hands steady on the wheel, ready for the unexpected twists that life may throw at you.

Back to the Future: Returning to Wealthy Affiliate with a Vision

Crystal ball

When I decided to rejoin Wealthy Affiliate this year, I had a vivid flashback to March 2013. As I signed into my old account, one of the first things I did was check out my bio from way back then. That first paragraph had me grinning from ear to ear. It read: “Hi fellow WA’s! My name is Dave, and I’m a mid-forties IT professional with a plan to retire at 55 or younger.” And would you believe it? Here I am today, right on the nose at 55, bidding my IT career adieu.

I didn’t have a crystal ball back in 2013, nor do I believe much in luck. My return to Wealthy Affiliate is not a spur-of-the-moment decision, but the culmination of years of planning, strategizing, and preparing. For the last 20+ years, I’ve set my sights on retiring in my mid-50s, and I’ve made every move with that goal in mind. I’ve been like a chess player, constantly thinking a few moves ahead. And now, I’ve finally declared “checkmate” on my IT career, saying goodbye to 34 years in Corporate America. Just writing that on this page makes excitement bubble up inside!

So why Wealthy Affiliate, and why now? It all boils down to one word: FREEDOM. That desire for freedom is exactly what I articulated in my bio all those years ago. The freedom to do what I want, when and where I want, and with whom I want. There’s no pension waiting for me; Social Security is still a good 7+ years away. But worry? Not a bit. My wife and I have built a financial cushion with our investments, and we’ve planned so that we’re positioned to enjoy our lives, without the fear of running out of money.

As I crest the hill of retirement, I’m not just looking out on a landscape of leisure—far from it. I’ve got a clear-eyed view of 2024: diving back into Wealthy Affiliate, taking lessons from my earlier experience, and charging full-steam ahead into new business ventures. I’m ready for the online empire that slipped through my fingers before because, well, life’s too short for ‘what ifs’. Let’s do this!

New Beginnings, Freedoms, and Adventures: My Wealthy Affiliate Redo

Neon sign that says

Freedom for me is the luxury of choice — the choice to do what I love, build something impactful, and generate new streams of income with Wealthy Affiliate.

2024 is shaping up to be more than just another year on the calendar. It’s a launchpad for new friendships, fresh learning opportunities, and the adrenaline-charged pursuit of ventures I’ve spent decades dreaming about. I’m buckled up and ready for this ride. Wealthy Affiliate is the companion I choose for this leg of my journey — after all, we’ve got some unfinished business.

To wrap things up, if your journey mirrors mine or you’re inspired to carve your own path with the myriad opportunities online, remember this: your journey is unique, and it’s never too late to rewrite your story or rekindle old flames that spark your passion. I’m doing it, and I can’t wait to see where this next chapter takes me. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work — there’s no better time than now to make those plans and dreams a reality. New adventures, here I come!

If all this sounds intriguing, I invite you to create a free account over at Wealthy Affiliate today and join me as we turn our passions, hobbies, and interests into an amazing success story!

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