My Story: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Posted January 19, 2016 by Brett Rutecky in Training Articles

So I decided to tell my story, how I ended up working online and how I ended up in the internet marketing business.

Marketers like to tell the story of their struggle to do well. They tell it to try to inspire people. Honestly inspiration is not really what I’m after. I hope people can take something from it but really I’m just telling this story because its mine to tell. In it, as you read through the steps I went through to become the person I am today, you’ll probably notice that some things are good, some things a bad, however all of it is true.

So I guess the big question is where do I start? My childhood has little to do with anything so I guess the best place to start is when I was a young adult in my late teens and early 20’s.

While I wish I could say that these where good years the sad truth is that they where some of the worst of my life. After turning 18 and finishing high school I decided to leave my parents house, go out on my own, and start making my way. However ‘my way’ quickly turned into the wrong way as I forgot any youthful ambition in favor of the pleasures of the world.

By the time I was 21 years old I was drinking a lot.  I was working at random dead end jobs that came and went through temp services. I chased girls. I fought guys. I had zero ambition and no future and I didn’t care one bit. I did what I wanted, when I wanted. I had no responsibility which was actually a good thing because its not like anyone could have counted on me anyway.

The apartment I lived in was a total dump. One large room and a bathroom. The kind of place that you rent out by the week. Below is a picture of what it looks like today.


Unfortunately it did not look any better than that when I lived there 17 years ago. The arrow is pointing to the window that use to be my apartment window. To the lower right is the security door with a broken lock that one used to enter the building after climbing over my drunk neighbor sleeping on the steps after leaving the dive bar that was, and still is, down the street.

Of all the things that where bad about that time of my life, probably the worst was the lack of ambition. I’m ashamed to admit that I had none. Though I worked just enough to pay the moderate rent at my apartment ($40 per week), buy booze, have fun and get just enough food to keep myself alive (because that was a waste of money) beyond that I cared nothing about improving myself. Honestly looking back on it now, I really don’t know why. That’s just the way I was I guess. A total waste.

By 23 I ended up meeting the girl who I would eventually marry at a birthday party held by a mutual friend. I think it must have been a testament to my charm that I somehow convinced her that I was a decent guy. Or perhaps she just saw a potential in me that I didn’t see in myself. Or perhaps she was just young and naive. But either way, we began  dating and several months later I left the dump I called my home and I moved into her much nicer apartment in a different section of town.

With the new home and new relationship came a new outlook. I was still drinking like a fish, but for perhaps the first time I had a sense of wanting to improve myself. I had a sense of self respect. I stopped working temp jobs and became a apprentice carpenter, working under a master and making hardwood caskets by hand. Below is a picture of where I worked.


I worked hard. Went in early. Stayed late. I offered to work Saturdays when no one else wanted to. Over time I worked my way up the pay scale and began saving money, an effort which was assisted by the fact that I was now living in a household with two incomes and being young we had little expenses and no debt.

My newfound ambitions did not stop with working hard though. After a while I found I had a fair amount of cash saved and I promptly looked for ways to invest it. I opened a computer repair shop and hired a old high school friend who had graduated with a degree in computer science but was unable to find a job to run it for me. But that still was not enough for me. I opened an ice-cream parlor (and would eventually own two of them), a sub shop, a digital print shop, and invested money into a partnership venture in a pawn shop.

All this time I was making a good living but I was not living good. I was living minimally in order to save as much money as possible so I could invest it into different ventures. The one thing I lacked for sure was stability, I was all over the place, doing all kinds of things. I just didn’t feel like I found what ‘my thing’ was yet. Before I knew it a few years had passed and I found myself married and soon to be a daddy.

There where two big realizations that led me to the next stage of my life. The first was when I was working one day and I noticed that the master carpenter I worked under was always rubbing his hands and fore arms. Years of laborious work had given him constant aches and panes. In that moment I realized that what I was doing, the skill I was learning, was not the future I wanted.

The second was when my son was born. At 26 weeks of pregnancy he came into this world via an emergency cesarean section weighing 1lb 13oz and without a heartbeat. The doctors, acting fast,  revived him, stabilized him, and flew him by helicopter 40 miles to a larger hospital that was more able to deal with the needs of a premature baby. Below is a picture taken of one of the first times I ever saw my first son. (who recently turned 12)


I don’t know if I made my decision in that moment, shortly before that moment of shortly after. But it was in that time, during the three months or so that my boy was in the hospital that I made up my mind. It was time for a change. I realized that while I was investing my money, I was not investing in myself or my family. I had put money in a few different business ventures besides my job. But those where just ‘interests’, I earned money from them, but I couldn’t run them personally if I needed to. After all this time I still did not find ‘my thing’ yet. So I decided it was time to improve myself, it was time for stability. I finally quit drinking and started taking night classes.

When I was young, about 12 years old or so, my father bought me a IBM computer with a 386dx processor running at 40 mhz. It was a paltry machine by today’s standards.,about 1/300th as powerful as most peoples smart phones today, but at the time it was quite expensive and he must have saved any extra money you could put away for quite a while to get it for me.

With that machine, a couple of 2 inch thick manuals, and its 14 inch monochrome monitor, I learned MS-DOS, GWBASIC, BASICA, and QBASIC. My very first operating system and my very first programming language. I really enjoyed coding. I had a talent for numbers and for logical thinking. But more than that I felt a sense of creativity when I was coding. For me it was almost a form of self expression.

It was that feeling from my childhood that I wanted again. The feeling that I was creating something. Something that no one else could have made quite the way I did it, because it was dreamed up in my head and made real with my knowledge. So when I decided to go back to school it was with the intent of becoming a software engineer.

School unfortunately is expensive and after about a year and a half I had to stop. I had a baby and a wife to support after all. I still worked making caskets but at night, after work,  when everyone was asleep I was awake. I was online continuing my education myself. I taught myself HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MYSQL. In time I got some skill with these new concepts and I discovered freelancing both offline for local firms and online on Rent-A-Coder.

It wasn’t long before online freelancing took over and I was earning my full time living from it. I worked from home, often at night, and I felt I was ‘making my living online’. Time passes fast and before I knew it I had 3 children and a wife who I was slowing becoming more and more estranged to.

I recall very clearly the moment the next stage in my journey happened.  I had always been an avid motorcycle enthusiast. I love riding them and at the time I liked working on them as well. I had a couple of them in my garage. One day, I was up early, and in the garage when my wife came in for our car on her way to go shopping with her sister. She said to me in the most calm and normal voice “Hey Brett when I get back I want to have a talk with you quick”. I think I might have muttered something, or nodded my acknowledgement, I’m not sure honestly, but I do remember I didn’t think much of it.

A couple of hours later she returned, pulled into the garage, handed me a letter and said: “I want a divorce”. I would be lying if I said I was surprised. I had been sleeping on the couch for the last five or six months or so and she had become more of a roommate than a wife at that point. Still I had made a vow, so I asked her: “Is there anything we can do?”, the answer she gave before walking away into the house was short and clear “I’m sorry, no”.

The kids where in daycare at the time so they where not there for me to say good by to and while technically it was my house as well as hers and I didn’t have to leave there is no use staying somewhere where your no longer wanted. So I grabbed a bag with a few things, jumped on one of my bikes, a 2001 YZF-600, (which years later I would crash at the Tail of the Dragon) and left.

Now I’m embarrassed to say that I remember almost nothing about the next 3 days. Its all a bit .. fuzzy honestly. I was not surprised that I was getting divorced, what surprised me was how much the realization that my marriage was over hurt me. But life goes on, and after 3 days I found myself staying in my mothers spare room. I was to proud to ask a friend to put me up.

At this point I was making about $50-$60K a year as a freelancer ($5000 a month or so) however with the separation my situation changed. I took nothing from the house and of the money we had saved I only took $1000. The logic being that since she had the kids she needed it more than I did. But there where still bills to pay, my kids still needed to eat, have clothing, go to the doctors, and everything else. Not only that I now had to pay my own bills in addition, I needed to get an apartment, I needed to furnish it. I needed to in essence provide for myself while still doing my share to provide for the children. In short I needed more money.

Now for anyone who is not familiar with how freelance sites work. You get jobs by bidding on them. Every person interested in the job writes a proposal and puts in a bid amount for the completion of the job. Well I came up with a brilliant idea. At least I though it was brilliant at the time. I contacted two other freelancers and made them a proposal. What if we all bid on jobs separately and if either one of us got the job we would do it together and split the money the job paid. This way we would not only get more jobs, but we would get them done faster since we where working together, and in the end we would all make more money.

It worked well and we all made more money. Well it worked well until Rent-a-Coder realized what we where doing and kindly informed us that it was against their TOS. Now the be totally transparent I knew it was against their TOS. People are allowed to work together as a team but they had to bid on jobs as a team. Each team member could not submit a separate bid. But I thought it was a silly rule, and hey the customers where all happy and giving glowing reviews of the work we where doing, so I figured no big deal right. Wrong. Rent-a-Coder did not see it that way. In their eyes we broke the rules that was the end of it. Two of the three of us where caught and banned from the network. Though to be fair, their decision to follow the TOS so strictly might have been influenced by the fact that part of their rules said if you break their rules they get to keep any unpaid funds in your account. So they had a financial incentive to be so strict.

Now I was in an even worse situation though. Not only did I have more expense. But I basically just lost my source of income.

There are other freelance sites though. One of which is Elance. I created an account and started all over again, going from a top rated freelancer to a totally unknown one. In about 6 months or so I built myself up once again to being a top rated worker.


This time though I was very careful to follow the rules. My experience is also one of the main reasons I constantly tell people if your using any kind of service be it Fiverr or Facebook Ads, or whatever. Read the rules and follow them no matter how insignificant they may seem to you. Don’t learn your lesson the hard way like I did.

So life was once again pretty good. I was back to freelancing. I had built up my reputation again. I was making enough money and I was seeing my kids every weekend. Then one day my now ex-wife tells me that she is getting remarried (to the guy she had been dating since about a month before our separation) and wants to move to Ohio. But Ohio was 500 miles away. There is no way I was going to be 500 miles away from my kids, so I moved to Kentucky to be close to them and once again started all over. She ended up not liking Ohio after about 6 months and moved back, and I came back as well for the same reason I left and ended up starting all over a third time.

One of the people who had hired me on Elance liked my work and offered me a full time job. He even paid the Elance ‘buy out’ fee so that I could work for him directly and not through the Elance network. The job paid $650 a week, which was less than I was earning as a freelancer but he promised more money as time went on saying he would eventually move me up to a percentage share of the income that my work was generating.  This seemed like a good opportunity. Frankly freelancing was getting old. A lot of a freelancers time is spent looking for the next job and this while less money in the beginning would offer more stability and eventually promised to offer more money. I took it.

Unfortunately the gentleman I was working for, while a very charismatic person, was a terrible business man. The software I wrote consistently generated money and he consistently spent it faster than it came in. Several times my pay was late. A few times I did not get paid at all. Often I had to dip into savings to pay my bills. In the end I quit and went back to freelancing.

So here I was back to freelancing. Hey at least I was making money. But my experience with Rent-a-Coder did teach me another thing besides be sure to follow the rules. It taught me that while I paid taxes as a self employed person, I was not really self employed. What I was doing was little more than working at a job. I could be ‘fired’ at any time.

Now one kind of person who often hired me was internet marketers. I was writing the plugins and the software that they where selling. At this point I was billing myself out at $75 per hour which made me a good income but I could not help but notice that they would take my work and make 50X what they paid me from it. Also they where working for themselves, they had a true business. This is what I wanted. So I started asking them questions. Not all at once. But as I was working with them creating their products I would throw in a question or two which most of them gladly answered.

After a while I had a good understanding of how internet marketing works and I decided to try my hand at it. I made my first software product in my spare time and put it on the Warrior forum as a WSO. The first day or two it sold 5 or 6 copies. Then one night I woke up to a couple hundred sales from an affiliate called simply BBC. Funny that I had no idea who that affiliate was but I was sure glad for the sales I was getting. Later I would learn that BBC is JVZoo and I had gotten picked for JVZoo product of the day.

This was when things clicked with internet marketing. In one night I made more money than I did in almost 2 weeks of freelance coding. Also I was making ongoing money because new people where buying my product through the WSO. So I took a risk. I quit freelancing and made more software products for WSO’s. For a good while I just kept bumping my WSO’s. People would ask questions, I would answer fast and help as much as I could. I did updates for free to the products I was selling, I got good feedback and before long I was making the same money from these WSO’s as I did from freelancing. Only I was not coding anymore, because I had already written the products I was selling. I had built assets instead of just selling my hours.

The fact that I was making money from the WSO’s and only had to answer questions and do support meant I had a lot of extra time now. All of these new people buying my WSO’s where also giving me a buyers email list so I figured hey why not try my hand and affiliate marketing. The problem was that I knew very little about affiliate marketing. So I started looking at what other people where doing.

I noticed that one thing people where doing often was reviews and interviews. I did not want to do interviews but I figured I could do reviews. Especially software reviews. I would be good at that since I’m an experienced developer. Now when looking at the reviews other people where doing I noticed just about everyone would always say the product they where reviewing was a good product. I thought to myself, how in the world could that be? Everything is great? That’s just not possible. It was at this point that I realized that there was almost no one who gave blunt in your face tell it how it is reviews. I figured there was a real need for that kind of thing. I also figured I would be a good person to do it. So this very blog that your reading right now was born.

Running a blog like this is not easy. Product vendors understandably tend to get a bit peevish when I publicly point out flaws in their products even though I always try to tell them about any issues I find (and if possible help them fix them) before I publish my review. The responses I have gotten from vendors whose products I have rejected has been wide. Some simply refuse to talk to me afterwards. Some have threatened me (legally, professionally, and even physically). Some have tried to discredit me. Some have tried to get me ostracized by other people in this business and some have ostracized me. But through it all, after two years now of doing this, I have stuck to the same principle as when I first started. I say what I think about the product I’m reviewing, good or bad, without holding back.

Now I review several products a month. When I approve a product, because believe its a worth while investment,  I do put an affiliate link at the bottom of the review and this is how I’m compensated for the hours of testing I put in to make the review. Though I often have to test dozens of products to find the one or two that is a good investment I can take comfort in the fact that I am only recommending things to people that I truly feel are worth buying.

Besides doing product reviews I do also create the occasional software product myself. I do this for income but also because I’m still a computer nerd. I still love to code and I still get a lot of personal satisfaction from creating something myself.

When I started on the Warrior forum years ago I remember seeing a sticky post from the original owner of the forum that said “Treat the WSO section like gold, because that’s what it can be. Believe it or not people have started $20,000 a month business from here.”. I remember thinking “yea right” when I read that the first time. But its true, people have, I know this for a fact because today I earn $20,000+ a month over all and yes as I said my personal IM experience started with the Warrior forum. Below is a screenshot of my gross payments received last year.



So that’s my story. Its the shorted version obviously as going over every little detail would take a very long time. However that’s what happened basically and the things I experienced in order to get to the point where I’m at today. If there is one thing I have learned so far its the number one thing is taking action, its having motivation and believing in yourself. Its first having the desire to want more for yourself and then having the drive to make it happen. When I was young I lacked that however as things in my life changed, and I got older,  I gained that drive and while it was not the smoothest road it was a road that eventually led to me doing better than frankly anyone, including myself,  ever thought I would. But that’s not the best thing. Money is great and all, but for me the best thing is that I’m now doing something that helps people. I have earned the respect of people who trust me. To me that’s the greatest accomplishment of all.



 A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review. However I make no promises to them regarding the results of my tests or what I will write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

About the Author

Brett Rutecky

Brett Rutecky is a full time online marketer, web developer, and entrepreneur. He has developed scores of Facebook apps, dozens of custom web sites and hundreds of scripts.


    Tom McGaughan

    Thanks for sharing your story Brett.
    It was inspiring and true.
    Especially about giving honest reviews and saving
    your subscribers money from buying all the fluff & hype
    we’re all getting daily.
    Thanks again,


    Hard knocks made you who you are! despite of beating yourself up before having everything click, it come loud and clear that you or kids haven been a priority.


    Hey Brett,

    Very brave mate, bearing all.
    I cringe just at the thought of how many hours you work.
    I wonder if other marketers would have us believe that banking figures like yours can be done without burning the candle at both ends?
    Thanks for being Brett

    Huw Hughes

    Hey Brett, that was a nice read. Similar to mine when I was 18 yrs old. I left South Africa and moved to the UK. I enjoy following you.

    Jean-Marie JOYEUX

    Thanks Brett, as I’m a beginner in affiliate marketing, your story is very helpful.



    Absolutely brilliant!.. Thanks Mr. Rutecky for sharing your story.
    I was especially thrilled to learn that simply BBC is actually JVzoo. 🙂

      Carlos Smart

      I can identify with the late nights up learning IM and the divorce which I regret to this day. Brings back memories.

      So many things that younger folk can learn from your ‘wild life’ and past mistakes.

      Lessons for us IMer’s too.

      I also deligently check your reviews before I buy a product. And your reviews have saved me from spending and wasting money on bad products.

      Thanks a lot.


    alan Mack

    Well done and Thanks Brett 🙂


    Hey Brett, thanks for being real and honest. Although its no surprise given the way you do your reviews. I don’t know if its something you’ve thought of but your story sounds like it would make a good book. Just saying…

    Keep being you…


    Very inspirational… thanks for sharing. =D


    Thank you for sharing your story Brett. I would imagine many of us reading it can identify. I know I did.


    Excelente lección y mejor contada, hay mucha verdad en ella.

    Un Abrazo – Rafael Pardo

    {link removed}


    Thanks for sharing your story Brett. I’ve always felt you were the real deal with your brutally honest, in-depth reviews. I trust you. So many other affiliate marketers just push anything and everything, using the same swipe emails that every other IMer uses. My inbox will sometimes reach a staggering 30,000 + unread emails because every mailing list I’ve ended up on is pushing the same product. I’ve dabbled with IM but haven’t taken it seriously. It would be cool to learn from you.

    Paul Sullivan

    Thanks Brett


    Good story Brett, you struck me as a blunt and honest person from the very first time I ran across one of your reviews… now, I know why. I count your advice as invaluable. Many thanks are well deserved. Thank you sir

    Gary McCormick

    Very positive and encouraging share, reflects your connection with life and with us as real people.

    Life is gritty for most of us, but the American Dream can still be found and excavated as we see in your own story.

    So many people as they make money and become successful forget how most people live and move forward in the blowing head on wind of life.

    I doubt you’ll ever forget and honored you chose to share with us (me), thanks!


    Thanks for sharing your timeline, it is very inspiring. Keep up your good work for the IM community.


    I was thinking the same as Damielle. Hey, they’ve already made a bunch of flicks about Steve Jobs. Your story is at least as interesting and you’re a lot more likeable. And you’re a hero to much of the IM community.


    Your reviews are as solid as the products you make. Honest (IM) business is good for business. Thanks for showing how it is done!


    Very interesting story. That gives me the energy to continue this internet path, against all odds.

    Mac Davidson

    Brett, I love your story. In my tribe we tell our stories, and listen to everyone’s. Their is wisdom found in the telling and the hearing of a person’s unique story. It is a sacred artifact as the impressions left in your own footprint. Here’s my take-away that may have escaped you. You found a way, and started over, a few times. You should never stop: starting over.

    It’s what you do best. So, no matter how successful you get – start again every few years and accumulate more value and truth as you go. You are not just a software developer, you are a second starter that provides the truth. Rare, very rare. Plus, I love both your reviews and products.


    Celia Gail Stuart

    Thanks, Brett, for sharing your story

    James Farrar

    Great Read Brett, This Post Is “APPROVED” !!!

    Stefan Swanepoel

    Brett… You have no idea just how much you have helped people in the IM world!

    You really are my IM Idol!

    Your reviews are honestly the best reviews out there, your story is true inspiration and your software is top notch. Thank you!

    I always learn so much from you and I will never be able to repay you for that!

    Here is to you!


    Hi Brett,
    Your honesty is why i always come to your site.

    Ron Haney

    As a customer of yours, Brett, I sincerely appreciate the post you wrote for a number of reasons. I always look forward to your reviews that have been pretty much the deciding point for whether I purchase the various products (or don’t buy them) you review/recommend. Your story written here reinforces the fact that I trust your expertise, opinions and straight-forward reviews. Thanks for being “Real”. I look forward to following your advice, products and input in the future.

    Ron M

    Much respect Brett. I want to be like you when I grow up. Thanks for sharing.

    Morgan Madej

    Motivational as well as inspirational, for anyone trying to make a living on-line. Going through life searching for one’s true vocation can be disappointing and depressing unless one is helping others achieve their dreams.

    I admire your guts for sharing your experiences of life! I agree with Damielle, a book would help others succeed, perhaps without making those mistakes that we all make in life, even if only once!

    In short a riveting read!


    It’s cathartic when you reveal your blemishes like this to your fans. We appreciate the story and hope the happy ending gets even more happier.


    Thanks for sharing you very inspirational story Brett, I especially liked the photo of you looking at your baby. You look so worried and in awe, all at the same time. 🙂

    Bo Tipton

    Thanks for sharing your story. The best part is that you never gave up. Many people give up just before they get to the top of the hill and it gets easy. You kept going and look where it led you. That took courage and I commend you for your courage.

    Ian McLaren

    Hi Brett

    You caught me on the way down.
    I was having a “bad day” and reading this just “changed my direction”

    “…probably the worst was the lack of ambition…..just enough to pay the rent”

    “…that feeling from my childhood that I wanted again. The feeling that I was creating something. Something that no one else could have made quite the way I did it, because it was dreamed up in my head and made real with my knowledge ”

    “….I noticed that the master carpenter..years of laborious work had given him constant aches and pains”

    Life is a “work in progress” but the Key Word is “Progress”

    We should make time to remember
    – Why we’re going what we’re doing.
    – Where we’ve come from.
    – How far we’ve already come.

    Maybe “…making hardwood caskets by hand” wasn’t such a bad starting place after all

    All the best

    Ian McLaren


    Thanks for your transparency in all this Brett. It is because I believe you really are one of those who are brutally honest, that I always open your emails, when most of the others go into the “someday i will look at them” folder. And everyone should take note that the software Brett develops is always top notch and always a great value!

    CJ Mollo

    Brett, that’s a great post. I love reading stories like this because people who end up becoming Internet Marketers always have such colorful pasts.

    I discovered Internet Marketing in 2008 after I got laid off without warning one afternoon. I went from taking home a little over $1000 a week to taking home around $220 a week from unemployment insurance. Not a very good feeling.

    Let’s just say that like you, I tended to enjoy the occasional “beverage” myself when the going got tough. Well, it was a little more than an occasional thing, if you know what I mean. I guess for some of us that can dull the anxiety of worrying about how we’re going to pay our bills.

    I originally started out with a free Blogger blog and writing articles for people on Fiverr. I worked hard but I was doing pretty well for myself. Then Blogger decided to take my blog down with no warning, and the competition at Fiverr got very fierce and my income dipped there too. So, back to the drawing board.

    Thankfully I discovered list building, and was able to hit my stride building my list and promoting affiliate products. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Sure, I made a lot of mistakes in the past, but I have no regrets and wouldn’t change a thing. If I hadn’t been laid off that day, I never would have started my online business and be able to enjoy the lifestyle I am today.

    Your story is an inspiration, Brett, and I applaud you for having the courage to tell it.


    Very inspiring Brett, especially the part about finally figuring out what you really enjoy doing which is helping others.

    Shawn S.

    A great success story!! Thank you for sharing your story. It, like your great reviews, will inspire many! Count me among them!

    Darryl H

    Thanks for sharing your story Brett It was inspiring also I’m looking forward to more of your reviews 2016!

    Bamdad SKY

    Loved it, Thanks for haring…

    Tom Markham

    Goes to show that hard drinking and divorce can lead to success.

    Jim Redmond

    Thank you.


    Congratulations Brett! You are a man of character and that’s one of the reasons I constantly come here to check your reviews before I buy. I am a repeat customer because of your honesty and you are one of the few IMers that I have trust in. I’ve got an honest and realistic understanding of the potential (not you kind of numbers) but realistic numbers that a part timer like me can realistically expect. You have provided real insider info that most IMers will not share. Keep up the good work.

    Mark Watkins

    Wow, Brett, Really great to hear your whole story! I’m glad you found your ambition as all your readers I love your honesty and your no B.S. reviews. Being a PA boy myself and growing up in a rural area I know how hard it is for a young man or woman to succeed. My route up was joining the service right after high school and working ever since continuously for 38 years . I started learning internet marketing because like coding for you it is a total change of pace from my day to day work as an investigator. Working hard, being industrious, being someone people can count on has served us both well. God Bless you sir and your family!!


    Hi Brett,
    Your honesty and transparence are touching. You know we all appreciate you!
    Continue the good fight!


    Don’t forget your health Brett :-).


    Good stuff, Brett. Moving to be near your kids makes you the man.

    My favorite synopsis of this would be:

    “Can we work it out?”
    “No, sorry.”
    Cool. I make a mill a yr now.”

    Noel Ferguson

    Thanks for sharing Brett

    VIctor King

    Hi Brett,

    Man I was blown away! I knew you were different when I read your first Review that I came accross. Nothing like the “Product Pimps” that fill our in-boxes on a regular basis with promotions that are little more than “hype”.

    It is obvious from all of the Responses that you have created a “Kindred Spirit” within all
    of us. Thanks for the kinship feelings.

    God Bless


    I was also wandering what was that “simply BBC” when I made my first sale on jvzoo and incidentally it was one of my white labels to one of your products..
    Wow Brett, that is some story my friend..I saw your email yesterday , opened it, saw the subject, I thought I’ll read it tomorrow, while the kids are in Nursery/School…I wanted to read it in total peace and quite away from distraction…Very inspirational….
    I always knew you are a man of character, tough, clever and very caring; I love the way you have moved back and forth just to be near your family. That is very touching. Family and health are top priority for me, and I I have the most respect for people caring for their family and loved ones.
    Mr Brett, you have won the respect of so many followers because of the way you are. Not because of your ability to make loads of money, I certainly respect you for who you are and one day you will be a recognized “IM authority” which will be awarding “seals of approval” to worthy IM products. Product vendors will be then rushing, to get approved and earn your stamp before launch.
    Thanks for sharing your touching story Brett.
    Well done, you are an IM legend. Long live the IM king !!

    Steve H

    You have certainly changed your life and fortunes around and may you continue in your success. Your honest reviews are a must read before buying the next shiny thing – well done. Thank you.


    I’d be proud too if I ever got there:
    “I have earned the respect of people who trust me. To me that’s the greatest accomplishment of all.”
    You’re a rare bird in IM, Brett – Hats off and thanks!


    HUGE story…thanks for the share..many continued blessings!


    Hey Brett,
    Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational., By sharing your story, you are once again helping a lot of people realize that hard times and set-backs don’t have to be the end, but stepping stones.

    I just wanted to let everyone here know that my personal experience with Brett, only as a customer, had PROVEN to me that he is a stand up guy. I will ALWAYS respect him, and his opinion. You’d be wise to do the same.


    By respect for your convictions you get respect. Matter of principle between good and evil. This is an exceptional value that denotes an exceptional man. Do not change!

    Tony Brayley

    “….when looking at the reviews other people where doing I noticed just about everyone would always say the product they where reviewing was a good product. I thought to myself, how in the world could that be? Everything is great? That’s just not possible.”

    When I read this, Brett, it completely resonated with me. I remember having the same thoughts a few years back, when I would get dozens of emails a day from people, all peddling the same shit.

    I don’t make my living from IM. I sell real estate for a living. I run my biz with integrity and honesty…I guess that’s why 90% of my biz is referrals and past clients. Having said that, I would love to make a side income from IM. I will probably create my own products (not software, though…got no coding skills). I don’t want to promote someone else’s inferior crap, just to make a buck…no way….I need to sleep at night!

    You’ve made quite an impact on a lot of us, Brett. I find myself coming back here a few times a week, when I’m thinking of purchasing a digital product, to see if you’ve done a review on it.

    I appreciate what you’re all about!

    Thanks, man….you’re a gem!

      Michael Gorman

      I had a similar reaction, you expressed it very well-and yes those product reviews are just awful and they actually think people swallow it? Sadly a lot must.

    Jim Forbes


    Thanks for your story. I am just breaking into IM with my 1st WSO after years of trying to get started.

    Your story helps me believe that it is possible to do this. I look forward to following you as a Brett’s Circle member and on your list.

    Gisela Beckermann

    Thanks for sharing Brett, yes, life is the most amazing journey for all of us, ups and downs, over and over, that seems to be the way it is for about anyone out there. Keep up the good work Brett and much success and love for 2016.


    Wow! Way to rebound… When I fully rebound I’ll have to tell my story lol


    This is one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read Brett.

    Some real stuff here, I’ve bought some of your products and they’re gold man.

    Really love your stuff man, take it easy brother.

    Sanjay Banerjee

    Dear Brett
    I really respect you a lot after reading your honest story
    Wish you all the best my friend
    Sanjay Banerjee

    Michael Gorman

    A very interesting, well written account. I can also relate somewhat to your story, as an IT pro who became burned out with corporate life – great I have met a truly authentic IM person, not as common as you’d hope!


    Thanks for sharing your story Brett, it was heartfelt and honest. I could relate to a lot of it as my journey has been a similar one. Kudos for showing people that with the right drive and ambition, amazing things can be achieved even in the face of adversity.

    Cheers Rob

    Shinji Fuse

    Hello, Brett.

    Big thank you for sharing your personal story. I can not imagine how difficult it was experiencing that with your family….

    I did not know you sacrificed so much to get where your are now. And you are always providing us good tips and bonuses etc….

    We all appreciate your love and caring to this community.

    All the best,

    Vikas Singh

    Hello Brett,

    Thanks for sharing. Your story is struggling but I felt its required to be successful.

    No lame discussion but my honest regards to you.

    Just one question crossed my mind. Did you remove those ‘Reviews’ for people threatened you (Legally, professionally, and even physically)?

    Vikas Singh


      Nope! Im not very easily intimidated. In fact many times, what I did was post screenshots of their threatening messages so people can see what kind of people these vendors really are.


    Wow! Raw foodstory! Thank you for sharing Brett. Your story is just a reminder that success does not come easily but comes to those who persevere! Also, you showed that you’re a real dad – you put your family first! Kuddo for you!
    Would love to learn coding. What would you advise to start with?

    Mark Hnatjuk

    Hello Brett,

    Great life story! I do not see anything bad in your journey of self-discovery but determination, focus, commitment and responsibility when it was called upon you. You carry this through to your product reviews and that is very refreshing and good for us all.
    IM world needs more than ever people of your grit. All of us have benefited hips from your products and reviews. Thank you! Sharks and Crooks of the IM domain….watch out!

    Marlene Roberson

    Thanks for sharing your story Brett. Truly inspirational! Since I started reading your reviews I always felt that you are different from the majority of IM people around. Reading this post confirmed it. Knowing that you put your kids first make you a great person in my book. Thanks for the honest reviews – don’t think I’ll buy anything without checking with you first 🙂 Just started with Profit Canvas and really enjoy learning so much. Thank you!


    Thanks for sharing your story and for being so candid. It’s apparent that you are not just a fellow with talent and a good cranial capacity, but also have integrity and the desire to help others in their search for satisfying self employment during challenging times. Keep up the great work!

    Steve Chase

    Thanks for sharing this Brett. I appreciate you more after having read this article. Take care.


    did you ever get back with your family? thanks for sharing your life. i hope i can do half as well as you.


      I dont know what you mean by ‘get back with your family’ ..


        Are you with your wife and kids? I just wanted to hear a happy ending to your story.

        So in 2015, you made 947K from doing reviews and offering bonuses and extra values with sales?


        Where should I start if I want to duplicate your business model?
        I do a little coding as a hobby, basically a code hacker.

        Thanks for any direction.

    melita hoddinott

    Facinating story Brett. I couldn’t stop reading even though it made me late for an appointment.

    Roger Faa

    Very interesting, reading about your journey in life….I’m totally blown away by the
    Affiliate Trax software and the video training that is included…you provide so
    much and you do it honestly…thanks!

    Phil W. Blackwell

    I appreciate you telling your story Brett. When you interviewed me for my product launch, I kinda felt like I was taking a lie detector test. I knew I was telling the truth, but thought… what if I give off a false positive?? haha

    My first computer was a Tandy 1000 TL, 80286 w/ 640KB. My dad saved up as well and tried to start a PC business in the 80s. I helped him get back into a few years ago- he started repair business after he was laid off from his job and every now and then he will say something like 64k instead of GB 🙂


      Yea Im pretty tough with my interviews 🙂 .. 286!! – MS-DOS 3.3 , I actually bought myself one of those from a school surplus sale when I was around 14 or 15 years old.

    Trace Hobson

    Great Story Brett– and thanks for the ‘real’ reviews– i am so sick of hearing bs designed to sell — very very old.
    Would love to connect sometime with you if you have time–
    Trace Hobson
    The Center for Transformational Presence
    {link removed}

    Charles Harmon

    Interesting and fascinating story Brett. I just discovered your blog when I bought Mailit a couple of days ago. I’m a retired business programmer of 35 years and sometimes I feel
    like creating my own product too.

    I’ve just read a couple of your posts and sas some of your videos. It’s good to see reviews where you tell it like it is. We need more of that. Keep up the good work.



    Incredible story from an incredible man..thank for you honesty and a very interesting life experience Brett..


    Hello Brett, I don’t even know how I got to this site but ‘m so glad I did:)
    I much appreciated reading the inspirational post you wrote.
    Thank you for sharing your adventures!

    Adriana from the Netherlands:)


    Hi Brett,
    When I purchased MailIt, FB Notification Pro and Profit Canvas, I really had no idea about you and Mike, but now – I’m so glad that I feel that I am very lucky to get in touch with you guys …

    kami ilmane

    I’ve read your story before but it was nice to read it again. Very inspiring, thanks for sharing…Now you deserve to take it a bit easier and look after yorurself and your family.

    Russ Jones


    Wow. What a story. Congrats on your success.

    If the movie rights have not been sold can I buy it?

    Oh, wait how much do you want?

    Ok, I better start selling some WSO or products! 🙂

    Mike Janssens

    Thanks for sharing, Brett. I don’t think I ever spent this much time reading a post on a website… 🙂

    In some way, I recogniz myself – like being all over the place, and doing nothing specific.
    You’ve got me thinking: maybe I shouln’td keep waiting to find my ‘thing’, I should simply make something my thing..

    Food for thought, thanks for that


    There are few people in the IM world that I trust. One of them is you as you are very real, sometimes more real than people want to know, but that is a key commodity and asset you have. You recently mentioned training being more important than even software even though software is important and greatly desired. I have watched some of the Brett’s circle but I think some new products for you would be to make training videos on how to set up a blog. How to pick an afflilate product (which you did in Brett’s circle) and how to sell on warrior forum and jvzoo. I do not mean just how to but more of an over the shoulder videos of watching you do what you do. A new person in the affiliate world everything can seem quite overwhelming. I believe you can take all the guesswork out of it and quite literally save people a lot of money from buying stuff they don’t need. When one gets a clear view of what to do than they can go and start something original of their own but the mystery is no longer there. I think you would be real enough to let everybody see behind the curtain. Even so thanks for all your help.


      Thanks for the suggestion. FYI: I dont have training on selling on JVZoo because they have dozens of very good tutorials available in their help section. Over the shoulder kind. How do you think all the top vendors on JVZoo (including me) learned how to sell on JVZoo 🙂 As for setting up a blog etc, that as well is public knowledge which can be found in 20 seconds on Google. I would not feel comfortable selling people training that is readily available if only they put in the minimal effort required to find it.


    Thanks for sharing your story. It was very motivational something i have been lacking for a while now. Again thank you and God Bless.

    Edreen Bryan Valdeavilla

    Thank you for sharing your story Brett. I am more motivated in building my online business slowly but surely.


    Thanks for sharing your story here. I guess for something to happen all of us must be action takers….and that is what I am taking away from your story. Cheers.


    Just remember to have compassion on others going through the same thing

    John Silveira

    Wow. What a story. Congrats on your succes 🙂 :):)

    nacer bennoune

    I think you are a genuine guy, and I felt as i am in a good hand listen to your advice and training;
    Keep up the good work and i could say if you build a strong base of trust the visitors will comme in eventually.
    Nacer Bennoune

    Frederick Niemann

    Hi Brett, I follow you since my purchase of Group Traffic’ on Dec.4/2016 and bought more products from you in the meantime – yet to get it done ‘life’…
    When I started to read ‘Your Story’, my first impression was – another story about a ‘broke’ and becoming a ‘millionaire’ as IM…yawn…but after I finished, I was taught otherwise. A honest ‘life review’ which brought some of my own experiences to life and the impression – Brett is the guy to follow. As Mike mentioned above already, I ever spent this much time reading a post!
    I am an independent technical consultant and decided to create a passive internet income end of last year. I checked many avenues on the internet and your reviews, teachings and offers seem to me the key to IM success.
    Thank you!


    That’s a great story Brett! I’d like to say that I have bought practically every product of yours, or bought something else just to get your product as a bonus 🙂 There was a time when I bought products only after waiting for your review. I was disappointed when you stopped writing reviews that were “not approved” but I guess I understand your point of view and respect it. You’re one person who is highly respected and trusted in this industry and I hope a lot of newcomers continue to benefit from your products and your reviews. I have for sure and I’m slowing getting to the stage of less buying and more selling (lol) after learning from stalwarts like you. You’re the perfect example of my favourite one liner – “Dreams don’t work until You do!” God Bless!


    What an amazing story! You are very inspirational! Thank you for sharing!


    Hi Brett

    I really admire you thanks for all the helpful post you made and I could see you really want people to succeed.

    Brett do you offer any 1-1 Coaching Program.? I have all the knowledge in the world but somehow could not pull this off yet.

    I will really appreciate your response
    thank you

    Sanjay Banerjee

    i read your story again ,after 9 months.
    I have great respect for you Brett ! God bless you …..


    Thanks for your story Brett.

    The school of hard knocks has taught me a lot of lessons too! Putting it all out there like that is inspirational. It took some guts to share your story like that.

    You know, my wife and I literally just started our own blog this past week. A lot of what I am trying to do with my posts are directly related to discovering you a couple of weeks ago, buying and using some of your products like Video Takeover, and studying how you are doing things. You are a good role model and I look forward to writing lots of blog posts and recommending your services where I can. After I get some posts on my blog I hope that you will take a look at what I am doing and allow me to promote all your products as an affiliate.

    Additionally, here’s a lesson that I learned from you. I bought a great WordPress plugin from an email I received a few days ago. The marketer that I bought it from had a big list of bonuses that came with it. The bonuses, in my opinion, were all crap and dated. The next day I got an email from you for the same offer and you offered one bonus but it was a fantastic cloud-based software you had made. I didn’t have the money to buy it again to get your bonus but it taught me something. It taught me to do business with you from now on because quality over quantity makes all the difference!


    You are an excellent writer and you could have been a great copywriter. Here is a combo, a programmer and a copywriter.


    Hey Brett,

    I think someone should make a movie about your life, it’s inspirational. lol

    Can I ask what programming languages you’d recommend to someone today if they wanted to follow a similar path to creating software to sell to marketers?

    I don’t have any coding skills at all. I’ve read that at least for getting a J.O.B. that Phython is highly recommended from an income potential standpoint, number of jobs and for the language being one of the easier ones to start learning from. But I have to say I like your path and am wondering what computer programming languages you’d recommend a complete beginner?


    Thanks Brett, you are one of those little known IM heroes I now follow ! GOD bless you more!!! ~ Rommel
    Philippines 🙂


    Thanks for your story Brett. Truly inspiring.
    If you need a new product idea. I need a software that will embed my youtube videos into thousands of sites. And then said software will send lots of social signals to each embed.


    What an awesome transparent story, you have given me hope to “never give up”

    Just to know some one like you have push through road blocks and continued is very inspiring to me and thousands.
    I’ve been a fan of your since Oct 2015 from profit canvas, video takeover, aff. trax 6/2016
    video courses 6/16, link master, 1/2017, review wizard 2/2017, re-engager 3/2017, hijax 2/2018 instant video page 11/2017, my favorite – my mail it -and million $ shortcut, I’m a victim of shiny objects, but all the ones you put out have great content and very useful.
    To my surprise they are all active (no error or discontinued message) You have great tools but I’m not the IM rich person I should be but life got in the way and my ambitions and priorities were forced to change. Never lost hope! and now i’m back and a student to my treasured “shiny objects” and interested in all your offers and bonuses.
    Mike from Maine is another one I love to follow especially when he interviews you!
    Never heard your story before and know I know the glue that got you where you are.
    Keep up the good work, ideas and software. We need people like you! I’m sure you’re a mentor to many.

    Thank you for sharing

    Sharon Wroblewski

    I left a long response, now I can’t find it

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