Goodbye, Internet—I'm Signing off for Now...

Goodbye, Internet—I’m Signing off for Now…

It’s that time of year again.

Sleigh bells are ringing.

The spiked eggnog is flowing.

And children are hanging their stockings with care, bursting with expectant greed, eager to receive expensive gifts their parents can’t afford.

Yeah, it’s almost Christmas…

Ho, ho, hopefully you’re planning to make the season bright.

As for me?

Well, this time of year always forces me to be introspective.

As you might recall, I took my blog offline around this time last year. In 2014 and 2015, I had published a hodgepodge of blog posts on all sorts of topics, most of them loosely related to internet marketing and social media.

(…88 of them lay dead and dormant in my archived category.)

Then I relaunched Brent Jones Online early in 2016, eager to share my freelancing successes with those just getting started.

Freedom, Flexibility & Financial Independence…

^ Yes, that was my message…

That I could teach you, working from anywhere in the world, to replicate the success I had in building an online, service-based business. I wanted to help others to do what I did with the eventual goal of turning it into a passive income stream.

I knew my mission would start with great blog content.

And that’s exactly what I delivered.

Between 19 new and republished blog posts, 17 new episodes of Better Freelancing, and a slew of guest postsokay, about 10 to be fair — I delivered the goods in 2016 on almost every topic an aspiring work-at-home superstar might need covered.

(…I’ve organized a list of all the content I published in 2016 at the end of this post, sorted by category.)

Not to mention the dozens of expert roundups and interviews I participated in this year — full chronological list here.

My posts received thousands of comments, thousands of shares, and thousands of new subscribers joined my mailing list.

All that I had left to do was monetize my efforts.

  • Would I sell a course?
  • Perhaps I would offer coaching, or run some type of weekly mentorship group?
  • Maybe, like so many others, I would self-publish a series of eBooks on a wide range of advanced topics.
  • Or just maybe, I would create a membership site with a monthly subscription model.

What I soon realized, a few months into this year, is that I didn’t have interest in doing any of those things.

My full-time freelance social media management business was thriving, and my earnings grew significantly in early 2016. I was suddenly in a position to hire full-time help.

Fast forward a few months, and I was working only part-time at my online business, earning a healthy above-average income, and doing precious little of the work myself.

(…in fact, I spent most of this past summer out on my bike. Logged around 6,000 km in 2016…)

Fast forward a few months more, and that brings us to the present — I’m signing off from the internet. For now, at least.

The truth of it is twofold:

  1. I don’t like social media
  2. I have no interest in doing anything with this blog

Let’s start with the first point.

I don’t like social media

I realized in 2016 that I don’t like social media — like, not at all.

A few weeks ago, I actually deleted my personal Facebook account. And I don’t mean deactivated it until some distant day down the road. I mean I found the deep link that allowed me to permanently click the delete button, thus excluding myself from the madness forevermore.

This was the final post I published to my personal profile before hitting that magic delete button:

I’ll be deleting my Facebook account in the next few hours.

Between fake news stories, hateful comments and captions, misleading and offensive memes, and angry opinions shouted in CAPS, I find very little value in remaining active on Facebook.

Not just Facebook—social media in general.

What I believe was once intended to unify and connect the world—giving us unprecedented access to information and communication—has, in my opinion, been a powerful tool for divisiveness.

I am, perhaps, a little more sensitive than most to this, as my business keeps me actively engaged on social media for hours every day.

But even in my downtime, I find myself giving a disproportionate amount of attention to what’s “trending” online. And more often than not, it turns out not only to be a waste of my time, but it leaves me feeling saddened inside and hopeless for the world we live in.

It comes as no surprise to me that the developed world is reporting record levels of mental illness in recent years. We’re bombarded with hate and malice every moment of the day. And then every so often, a cute cat video—just to keep shit “real”.

It is for those reasons that I have elected to have Andréa take over my online business, and to take myself offline for the foreseeable future. (With the exception of Instagram, which I still intend to use as a visual journal of my cycling adventures) I will have fully made the transition (on the business side of things) by year end.

I’m ready to rejoin the real world full of real things that actually matter. To focus on things that bring me joy—nature, fitness, nutrition, music, friendship, creative writing—and to avoid those things that leave me feeling empty and unfulfilled. Mostly, what I refer to as the “fake” online world. I hope that in so doing I’ll be in a better place to love my fellow man, rather than my current state of resentment.

If you’ve got my phone number, you know how to reach me. If you couldn’t be bothered to call, then it’s just as well that we’ll no longer be connected online.

With love,

Brent

Sums it up, right?

Hey, you don’t have to agree with me — but it’s honestly how I felt. And I’m entitled to feel any way I choose.

Spending so much time on social media was bumming me out, even though I was making money doing it.

As I addressed in that final Facebook post above, my wife graciously accepted my staff and my client base, and she’s now running the entire social media management show. Even my portfolio website is offline.

No, I won’t be accepting any new social media clients.

Not now.

Probably not ever.

It isn’t to say that I’m turning on a dime, heading back to the corporate world to reclaim a day job.

I will always be self-employed.

Freelancing is for me, but social media isn’t. And it took me a couple years to figure that out.

Now, let’s talk about this blog…

I have no interest in doing anything with this blog

This blog — and my growing my mailing list, and increasing my social media following — has always been a side project for me.

I’ve generated a few dollars through affiliate sales, sure, and that was nice.

But I couldn’t justify diverting time away from my main freelancing business for this blog, especially when I was already earning steady, recurring income and working so little.

If I wanted to spend extra hours in front of the computer every day, why wouldn’t I invest them in growing my primary business?

Which leads me to my current position… I can’t justify spending anymore of my time on blogging.

I mean, I suppose I could keep updating this blog as a charitable act, a means to help others, to teach what I know — goodwill to mankind, and all that jazz.

But the truth is, I’m just not that nice.

I’m discovering that sometimes I have to be a bit selfish with my resources…

…especially my time.

But I will be leaving this blog up for foreseeable future, all resources intact.

My mailing list opt-in boxes will still work, although you won’t actually be joining my mailing list — you’ll simply be redirected to my secret download page.

(…or just click here, and — tadaa! Not so secret anymore, huh?)

And if you’re on my mailing list, you aren’t likely to hear from me again soon.

Comment sections are closed — the one below this post will be stay open for a week or so, though — and my social media profiles, the ones that link to this blog, will be updated to reflect that I am heading offline indefinitely.

Neat…

Tidy…

Simple, right?

Because let’s be honest.

There are a shit-ton of awesome resources for freelancers online, most of which are free.

A few names that immediately come to mind include Elna Cain, Gina Horkey, and Brennan Dunn. Check those folks out if you haven’t already.

But the real truth is, if you haven’t found success freelancing, or you aren’t making good money with it, you either:

  • suck at being your own boss (quit now while you’re ahead),
  • you’re willfully ignorant to learning new skills,
  • or you simply are not investing enough time in doing the right things.

Pick one.

Honestly, there are millions of prospective clients out there in this great big world of ours. There’s more people in search of your talents — no matter what they may be — than ever before. Lack of opportunity isn’t a valid excuse.

But there’s no value in me continuing to publish new content.

Because if you wanted freelance success bad enough, you would have already found it by now.

I guess sometimes the truth hurts, don’t it?

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

My final thought…

What will I do next?

Time will tell.

For now, I’m enjoying getting back in touch with the shit I care about — family, friends, health, fitness, nutrition, reading, writing, music, nature, and the like.

(…much as I referenced in my Facebook post earlier.)

These are the things that matter to me in life. Now, at Christmastime, and all throughout the year.

I’m currently working on finishing my first novel. I hope to have it available for purchase by early 2017. Stay tuned for that, especially if you’re into flawed protagonists who repeatedly make poor life choices.

And who knows?

Maybe I’ll turn writing fiction into a full-time career next year.

Quitting my job to freelance — without any existing contacts or clients — taught me that I can do just about anything I want, if I’m willing to work at it.

So why rush?

I’ll take my time and make sure that whatever I do next, I do it with intention.

For those of you who have been a part of my online journey over the past two years, you’ll never know how grateful I am for you. If I can leave you with some final words of advice, they would be this:

Stop waiting.

We spend our whole damn lives waiting for…

  • the perfect moment,
  • the perfect idea,
  • the perfect opportunity,
  • the perfect business partner,
  • the perfect relationship…

…well, you get the idea.

But most of what holds us back isn’t imperfect moments or people. It’s our own fear of being imperfect.

You are imperfect. So am I. And imperfect people are capable of doing some pretty incredible things. Things that might surprise you.

So get out there, be imperfect, and live your life with intention.

Be awesome and take action. Jump in even if you can’t see the bottom.

And now it’s time to say, “Goodbye, internet.” I’m signing off.

With love,

Brent

PS: Here’s that list of content I published in 2016, as promised. If you missed anything I published this year and want to catch up, feel free.


44 thoughts on “Goodbye, Internet—I’m Signing off for Now…

  1. Courageous and honest is the real thing we needed in our life, it will bring the ultimate happiness in our life. I enjoyed this article, and you have explained the fact in it. Happy Holiday. Keep in touch

  2. I’m sorry to see you go (you are one of my favorite Twitter people!), but I absolutely understand your feelings towards Facebook, and wish you the best in whatever you do. I hope I’ll see your book appear soon…I’m always looking for something new and great to read. And thank you for the time that you spent helping the rest of us over this year!

    • Hi Jayme,

      Well, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my tweets!

      Thanks for the well wishes.

      My book should be finished by early 2017 — looking forward to it being available for download / purchase.

      Enjoy the holidays, and all the best in 2017!

      Brent

  3. Hey Brent,

    Everyone want freedom, flexibility and financial independence to perform something special in real world. It is really bad news for – I will wait until you activate your account. Social media is beneficial for our business but sometimes it become a reason for making bored with as usual content. Eventually, thanks for sharing your thought with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar Kumar

    • Hi Amar,

      “I will wait until you activate your account.”

      ^ Not sure what you mean by this. Can you explain?

      Well, I attained freedom, flexibility, and financial independence in the way I had intended to — but it took me a few years to figure out that social media management was the wrong way to go about it. For me, at least.

      I appreciate your well wishes,

      Brent

    • Elna,

      I’d love to keep in touch. And very cool of you to offer to read my book once it’s finished. I’ll be sure to let you know.

      Thanks for your kind comment,

      Brent

  4. Well this does surprise me. We shall talk. Glad you’re following your heart. I’ve appreciated your everything.

    • Thank you, Robin.

      Much as we talked about several weeks ago, there were certain operational inefficiencies in the way Andréa and I ran our separate businesses. Given that we did the same work, at the same price points, we often found ourselves trading tasks and clients back and forth. Vying for the same clients, in some cases. And sending mixed messages to our staff, who looked to both of us for guidance.

      So it was, first and foremost, a business decision for me to step away from the social media work we were doing.

      But as I mentioned before, she is better suited to social media management than I am. Taking it a step further, as I mentioned here, she enjoys the work a lot more than I do, too. It’s her passion. And I really felt my clients would benefit from working with someone 100 percent invested in their objectives.

      I will certainly still be involved in our business (especially the administration, finances, and business development end) and in developing new service offerings and revenue streams for 2017. But I won’t be involved in social media management, content creation, or blogging.

      For now, I’m going to take some time to figure out what my next steps will be. And during that time, I’m going to work on completing my first novel. We’ll see how that goes.

      It’s been a pleasure working with you Robin, and depending what comes next, there may be more for you and I to do together.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment,

      Brent

  5. Hi Brent,

    You’ve been a great “online” friend over the past couple of years.

    Contact me if you happen to need something I might be able to help with. And let me know when your first book is ready.

    Best,

    Matthew

    • I’d love to, dude! (Stay in touch and let you know when my book is ready, I mean)

      You were like the first person I connected with online back in 2014 — like, the first person of substance who contributed to my online journey. Definitely someone I won’t be quick to forget.

      Keep being awesome,

      Brent

  6. Aw, hate to see you go. I loved your constant emails in my inbox, low key.
    Hope to see you surface back again – Glad to be apart of this list.

    God bless

  7. “so get out there, be imperfect and live your life with intention”

    I’ve been so overwhelmed with what I don’t know and that’s been a great reason to be paralyzed.

    Thank you, Brent Jones.
    I’m going to read every last word in your archives.

    • Wow, Robin — thanks!

      I hope you find value in my content.

      Analysis paralysis (as I call it) is a powerful thing. Yes, a little bit of thought goes a long way — but just a little bit. Action is what we need take. Even making mistakes. It’s all part of how we learn.

      Thanks for commenting, my imperfect friend.

      Brent

  8. Brent,

    Going to miss you buddy. Social media .. and online stuff can be so nauseating at times. I hate social media. Period.

    Anyhow, looking forward to the book. You might just go from full time employer, to freelancer to best selling author in a span of what … 3 – 4 years?

    F’n nice.

    Take care.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Bestselling author? Let’s hope! But that might be a bit lofty. I’d love just to earn something from my books. It would be a great place to start and it would give me a chance to write more. I’m focused on building the lifestyle I want first — I’ll worry about the business end of things later. I’ve got too far away from how I really want to structure my everyday life over these past few years.

      Glad to know I’m not the only one fed up with likes, follows and retweets. 😉

      Brent

      PS: I’ll reply to your email shortly.

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