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My Financial Freedom Story: How I Went from Making 5 Thousand Dollars A Month To a Multi-Six Figure

This article is strictly the opinion of the author and is to not be considered financial/investment advice. Call to Leap LLC and the author of this article does not claim to be a registered financial advisor (RIA) or financial advisor. Please visit our terms of service and privacy policy before reading this article.

This is my story of how I went from making $5,000 a month to a multi-six figure income. If you guys are interested in how I went from having a public school math teacher salary to making around $28,000 - $30,000 a month, this article is for you.

As a side note: if your goal is to build wealth, then I believe it helps to study how other people built their wealth. So, I wanted to share my story with you guys.

Here are the 4 Aspects I’m going to talk about in this article that I used in my life to achieve Financial Freedom.

  1. Online Tutoring: Which I still do to this day. But back when I was building my business, I was tutoring in person instead of online.

  2. Fitness: Not just my big strong muscles, but also how I invested in my mental and physical fitness and how it played such an important role in reaching financial freedom.

  3. Emulation: Studying other people and how other wealthy people do it.

  4. Online Coaching: How I make money on Tik-Tok, Instagram, Youtube, and on my website from ad revenue.

If you guys are interested in starting a business online I think this is going to be a really great lesson for you. It gives you a little bit of insight into how I do everything. So I’m going to give you guys a little bit of a behind-the-scenes look.

This story and information are all so I can be transparent with you guys and let you know what it looks like to run a business day-to-day. This way, you know what to expect if you want to build a business for yourself.

So let’s begin!

Stage 1: Tutoring Online

Let's talk about my math tutoring business. For those of you who don’t know, I used to be a public school math teacher.

Back then, when I got my first paycheck, I knew I wasn’t making enough...I thought about it, and I knew there was no way I could save up enough money to become comfortable in retirement. So that's when I told myself I'm going to up my game. Back in college, I used to tutor people in math. So I figured I would start a Math tutoring business.

If you guys know me personally, I shared with some of you that I didn’t study business in school.

I had no idea how to run a business. So, when I started my online Math Tutoring Business, I just kind of dove right in...

I realized “maybe I can teach some students one-on-one.” I was trying to figure out my self-worth which I feel a lot of business people don't really talk about sometimes. And I learned a few little nuances about business. Like how to talk to clients, understanding what people are looking for, etc.

I remember when I was advertising myself and my tutoring business, I got a whole bunch of rejection. But I learned to persevere...

In school, I was used to having students who respected my teaching and what I had to offer. But, when I was outside of the classroom, it was a whole different story. I realized I was advertising to a bunch of people who didn’t care about me.

I would go to supermarkets every single day. I was that annoying guy standing outside the store handing people my brochures. I put my flyers and my business card on people's windshield wipers.

Sometimes I would go to Asian markets and I would see if there were any parents that wanted a math tutor for their kids.

But when I was out there advertising myself, there were so many different faces of rejection...

“Your services are such a scam,”

“It's weird...”

“You're weird...”

“Why are you approaching me?”

I felt when I was doing all of this, I was also learning how to take on rejection. Which I realized I never really dealt with my whole life.

I'm gonna be honest, there were days where I would just pass out flyers and brochures in my nice dress shirt and my nice dress pants, and my feet would be super sore at the end of the day. I’d be super sweaty, I had armpit stains under my dress shirt, and after a day of passing out flyers.

Then I would go home and literally just sit at my table. Just me and my phone. Waiting and praying that someone would call me and want to hire me as a math tutor.

There were so many days when no one would call me. There were days where I got emotional and I cried. There were days I was so upset because I started a business and no one wanted the service that I offer. I started to have self-doubt about myself.

“People don’t need me.”

“People don’t respect me.”

“People don’t want my services.”

“I’m a bad teacher.”

“I’m a bad businessman.”

But in time, I kept persevering through and I kept passing out my business cards and my brochures kept talking to parents.

Then finally I started getting one or two calls. I finally started teaching students and then the kids would really like me. The parents would really appreciate me and they started telling people through word-of-mouth, “oh yeah there's this really good teacher this really cool math teacher Mr. Chen he's awesome!”

And that's how it all really spread. But I felt during this time this was kind of my baby project and that's really how it taught me how to become a good entrepreneur.

Just how to persevere and how to keep going at it even if I fail it's okay. Just stand up keep going out again. You fall it's okay. Get back up. Just keep going at it every single day...

I literally did this every single day. After I worked from 8 am - 3 pm, I would wear my dress shirt and dress pants in the hot 90-degree California weather and pass out my business cards.

I would just do it every single day. Then learned how to develop my pricing. “How much do I charge before?” I remember I charged only 15/20 an hour to tutor students but then that's when I started to kind of develop a sense of value for my time.

“What is the value of my worth?” And I figured that as I continue to get more students there's no way that I can keep teaching students with the schedule that I have. I was tired and I didn’t want to teach for five hours after school.

I understood people really began to value what I had to offer so I felt comfortable increasing my prices. That's how I learned how to scale up my business. Throughout this entire journey, I learned how to adapt, how to pivot. If something didn't work out. It's okay, I learned how to adjust myself and then I was my own single business entrepreneur.

I was able to maneuver very easily. So this whole process right here really taught me a lot and this kind of primed me to develop an entrepreneur mindset.

This leads me to my next topic, mental and physical fitness.

Stage 2: Fitness

Okay, so I'm a big gym rat. I'm not lifting 500 pounds or anything. But I have my own gym and my garage and everything.

I understood that being a good entrepreneur isn’t just about making money and learning how to talk to people. I realized there were a lot of inner workings going on too...

I had to develop a lot of habits to be a good entrepreneur. So there was this mental and physical aspect of fitness that I wanted to work on because I felt I was doing my own business I kind of studied other people. A lot of successful people I saw worked out. As simple as that. They all worked out...

They all meditated, they all had a lot of reflection time, they all took time to focus on their health...So every day, I would try to develop these positive wealthy habits.

So, I would literally eat healthily. I would cook my own food and make sure that I eat healthy broccoli, chicken, rice, potatoes, and beans. I made sure that I meal-prepped everything. And this helped me save money but it also made me healthy. It made me stay on track. I went to the gym at 5:30 a.m every single day.

Two reasons, first I usually go to the gym next to my school so sometimes if I go after school I’ll see my parents there so it's kind of awkward for me because they'll be oh Mr. Chen how are you doing and then I’m bench pressing or something. And then it turns into a parent conference I’m oh shoot and they start asking me about their kid and how they're doing in my class so I went to the gym early in the morning when no one went. This way I could avoid parents okay I’m not gonna lie I’m just being honest here right and then I also go to the gym early in the morning to get a sense of accomplishment and start my day strong.

I went at 5:30 a.m when it was dark and then whenever I got my workout done and I came out the sun was rising, I was like “man, I’m already kicking ass today!”

“I know a lot of people majority of people are sleeping right now but I already got my workout in.” I felt confident about myself and I felt with these positive health habits, it becomes an avalanche to becoming even more positive health habits. It's a domino effect from there. And that’s what I really wanted to work on - mental and physical fitness.

I wanted to develop a good mindset. And the gym taught me how to persevere through pain. Because you're working, you're getting sore, and you have all this heavyweight on you. This taught me to speak positively to myself… “I can do this. I can lift this.”

I can use this time to really speak words of affirmations to myself. Words of encouragement to myself so usually before a heavy lift, I say stuff like

“I can lift this. I can do this. This is easy. I got this.”

I would say these positive things to myself and I felt that translated to my business life and my entrepreneurship.

There are some people that I follow like Ronnie Coleman and he'll say things like “oh yeah lightweight baby” with his high-pitched voice. So I kind of learned it from him. There's this guy named is Brian Tracy. And he would say things to himself in front of the mirror every single day.

So I realized if I can develop these mantras where I can say these positive words to myself, then it's really going to manifest into my business world.

I think it's an overall great habit to have.

Then, after a workout, I would stretch and it was my time to meditate. To just calm myself and try to see what I’m doing today.

Trying to find peace in me and it was my time for me. It was a time for me to reflect try to be thankful I would say oh what are some things that I was thankful for.

“I'm thankful for my health.”

“I'm thankful for being able to have food.”

All of this really encompasses positive wealth habits positive habits and I believe that success is not by chance. Success is definitely not by chance...It is intentional. All of these things that I did were intentional. And it all fed into my entrepreneurship. so the third topic that I want to talk about is emulation…

Stage 3: Emulation

I believe this is such an important topic here.

A lot of times when we see rich people and we go “man this guy is a rich man he has a Lamborghini has billion dollars blah blah blah... he's evil he has money he's selfish he's evil.”

Back then, I realized that this is such a negative way of thinking about wealth. So I tried my best to think the opposite way and how instead of having this negative perspective on wealthy people, I thought why don't I see it from a positive light?

They must be doing something right to become wealthy themselves so I studied other wealthy people's habits.

What is it that they did?

Yes, I knew they worked out, they had these really cool businesses. But I also observed how they spoke at conferences. And I began to ask myself questions like, “How do they present themselves?” “How do they spend their money?”

I literally read a whole bunch of books and blogs and a lot of self-made millionaires and studied their habits. I remember when I was teaching at the public school, a lot of times during lunchtime, I didn't really talk to anyone. I was pretty I was a hermit myself I was very introverted I didn't really eat with a lot of people a lot of teachers during lunchtime.

I would kind of stay in my own classroom and just kind of read articles and I would read about other people's stories. Literally no joke every lunch that's all I did. Of course, I would learn about the stock market but I would just really read other people's stories. I felt those were positive stories and affirmations that I could be placed onto myself.

“Oh man if this guy can do it, then I can totally do it too.”

“This guy's a normal regular joe, I’m a normal regular joe. I can do it too.”

So emulation really is a key here.

And I just want to say something here. I hear a lot of people not even just on the internet but just people in real life right where people again going back to the whole negative perspective wealthy people a lot of people go yeah wealthy people are bad. Money is selfish. Money is the root of all evil. But I feel when people think that way, they think money is bad money is bad they keep thinking that then what happens ultimately happens is subconsciously they go then wealthy people are bad, money is bad, therefore I don't want money. I don't want to be wealthy myself. Because then I will become a hypocrite myself. I don't want to be wealthy I don't want to have money.

So when they say that to themselves people who have a negative view of wealthy people have a negative wealth perspective. They never become wealthy themselves because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

They want to prove to other people money is bad, therefore I’m not going to get it. And I will make this prophecy true. But I feel when we split that switch and think instead that “money is not good or bad… but it can be a great tool to help other people.”

When we have money ourselves when we are able to not only help ourselves abundantly then we are able to help other people abundantly. How can we help other people if we can't even help ourselves? All about perspective all about how you view it. So that's number three, Emulation…

Let's talk about my fourth one and I think this is where a lot of you guys are interested. So let's talk about my online coaching and how exactly I make a lot of my income here.

Stage 4: Online Coaching

So, of course, I became financially free, and last year and before I quit my job, I gave my letter of resignation.

As I was planning my life after leaving my job, I was thinking about how much I wanted to show other people some of the wealth habits that I have learned. Some of the tips and tricks that I have with credit cards, calling up companies and trying to save money, or tracking your expenses little by little, and little helpful habits like that.

So I thought, after I quit, maybe I’ll just go on social media. I can do this maybe I can open up a Tik-Tok...I had no idea what Tik-Tok was. So I had no idea how to do it. I was never really on the internet with Instagram or any social media.

I just made youtube videos but that was just for my students.

(By the way, if you want to check out my youtube video or my youtube channel it's my old youtube channel you can see me when I was really young it's called “glass board learning” for those of you guys who are skeptical that I used to be a math teacher.)

I decided to pull the trigger and start my social media accounts with tik-tok Instagram, and youtube.

And I started posting about some of my tips and I began to make money through social media.

I'm being very transparent with you guys, I don't make that much money from Tik-Tok. I think I make around $3000- $5000 a month depending on how many views there are.

And I don’t make much money from Instagram either. But, I do make around $100-$200 every single month on Youtube.

Overall I felt that as long as I was providing value and transparency on social media along with positive words of affirmations and encouragement, people would go to me as a resource.

I didn’t know if people were going to follow me when I first started. When I was starting this, I felt my history with my online with my math tutoring and starting my tutoring business came to mind. Some of my negative thoughts and feelings started to kind of resurface because I had to face the fear of getting rejected online. “What if people don't like me? “What if they don’t like what I have to say?”

But over time, my team and I began to believe that as long as we’re consistent, transparent, and honest, then you're delivering value to other people.

It’s been a long journey since we started making social media content. But now, we have also been able to get sponsorships from other people. I know some of you guys watch when you guys are on Instagram and Tik-Tok. You guys are hey there's an ad steve is doing an ad yeah I actually do ads for just a couple of companies that deal with finances or lifestyle brands.

And yes, I choose which companies I work with.

If the company does not match up to my mission statement, then we don't choose to work with them.

But we do work with companies that reach out that really align with our values and teach people to empower themselves and take care of their finances.

For example, we teamed up with Fuel. A company I honestly appreciate. And I’m not even getting paid to say this either.

Fuel provides a nice number of protein, carbohydrates, and a nice number of fats. There’s also pretty good fiber and nutrients in there. And of course, it tastes pretty darn good too.

I don't just pick up any sponsorships. My team and I really go through and see what it is that really fits our mission statement. So with sponsorships, we make around $1,500-$2,000 per post.

So if you want to get into the online digital space, if you want to try to spread your knowledge to other people, you want to make sure that when you guys have your social media your -TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube, make sure that you're trustworthy.

And above all, make sure you have something that is valuable something that's of value to other people. And when people see that they're going to follow you and when there are more numbers when people follow you more then these companies will come by and see that you're very trustworthy. You have great content we want to work with you so I never look for sponsorships.

These companies come to me and I never look for them.

I also make money from ad revenue on my website. Sometimes we take a lot of time we spend a lot of time doing a lot of research on figuring out what some tips that people can use. So we come up with a whole bunch of tips we do a lot of research and we'll write articles we'll have ads within the article.

So, whenever we have people watching or looking at our articles, we'll get a couple of cents. To be completely honest here, the ad revenue from our articles only generates a couple of hundred dollars.

But we feel this brings a lot of value to other people and gains trust with other people. We build relationships with the internet world.

Last but not least, we have a That's where we also make money too.

We sell our coaching services so when people are looking to get into investing, and trading options, we have the services to teach you what you need to know.

I know that when I started off investing and trading options, it was a very lonely journey. For me, I didn't know who to talk to my co-workers didn't know what the heck I was talking about and it was just really hard.

Sometimes I would go on wall street bets to talk to people there. Pretty poisonous there to be honest. I didn't really have anyone to talk to so my team and I developed this website for everyone.

This became a safe community where people can come and then they can try to talk to other like-minded people. You can come and learn with others with a wealth mindset and learn how to invest and learn how to trade options safely.

We have our membership subscription where you guys can check out the website if you guys haven't done so. My team and I put a lot of research into it. I made a lot of mistakes when I first started trading and investing. I lost a lot of money. Incredible amounts I probably lost up to five figures I’m not even exaggerating…

So I didn't want to have other people who got into investing in trading options lose that amount of money too. I wanted to make sure that people were safe about their investing to do something to assess the risk tolerance and I did a lot of research during my time as a public school math teacher.

During my lunch breaks, I'd be super nerdy and I’d be doing a lot of math and kind of graphing out charts to see what was statistically a winning strategy.

We answer a lot of questions with our videos, and we put a lot of work into them. Coming out with the content, and editing it. So with social media, we bring in a couple of thousand dollars here just through Tik-Tok and youtube sponsorships maybe. About $4,000-$8,000 per month. generates about $30,000-$50,000 a month. But remember I’m still paying the incredible team that helps me out too so this is how we kind of get the ball rolling. Because everyone works together.

So, if you guys want to go into the digital space it all begins with fitness and really developing a good wealth mindset. It really just comes from within. Trying to learn how to persevere, and trying to learn how to take on rejection.

I got a ton of hate when I first started to create content online. I understood what it was like to be cyberbullied. People would call me names and tell me I was ugly. But I learned to grow thick skin and take criticism.

Hope you learned something from my story...

So now you know how I make money. Another side note is that I also have my rental income.

I rent out my other room in my house. And this is called house hacking if you guys are interested in Real Estate investing. You can consider buying a duplex or a triplex or something or buy a little apartment.

Especially when you guys are young you, don't want to go for something humongous and just live in there by yourself. You’ll want to “house hack.” This means you’ll rent out a room in your house so the other roommate(s) or tenants can help pay for your mortgage.

You guys can also read more about my story in my business insider article. I made eight thousand dollars and it surpassed my teaching job.

Creating Financial Freedom has been a journey for me and I have learned a ton. The biggest change happened when I realized entrepreneurship was a key to controlling my financial future rather than working for the government as a school teacher.

I learned to build mental and physical fitness and learned to persevere. I learned to embrace rejection and even deal with hate. I’ve created habits for myself that goes beyond just making money. I believe that if you want to make more money, you can start with a side hustle - preferably something that you love to do. See how it goes from there, and really try to excel at your craft. You’ll see that the right people will gravitate towards you as you grow.

You’ll see how much your life will change and how far you can go when you’re surrounded by people who are loving and encouraging.



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