Here you will learn a bit about myself and read info on how you can stop working for someone else, make money and do what you love to do.  Not either/or but both/and.  You can learn how to become successful in building an online business.

This is probably more than you will ever want to know, but it will give you some insight as to why I have created this website about how to achieve financial success.

Shelley Atkinson - wealthy affiliate member

First Jobs

I earned a B.S. in biology back in 1986 and there weren’t really any jobs at the time unless you wanted to work for a pharmaceutical company, so I took some time and worked as a nanny in a small town south of Boston for about 3 years.  It was a great experience.  Knowing I couldn’t stay forever, I decided to join the Coast Guard and take a shot at going to medical school.  Well, you know recruiters.  Medical school wasn’t going to happen, but I found out too late.  I met my   husband, David, while we were stationed in Houston.  In 1993, we moved to VA and three years later he retired and became a real estate agent as his parents before  him had.  A year after that, after serving in the military for 9.5 years, I decided to join David.  Well, we all know how the real estate market turned out, so this would  be the first of many jobs.

Work at Home

I started working from home as a call center and it was great!  I worked for a large, theme park in Florida making dining reservations and golf tee times.  The incentives were pretty good, but you were still fairly limited to how much you could make.  I also started a business in photography and then jewelry.  I made some extra money, but without a studio or store they would never be full time businesses.  We decided to move to southern Alabama to be closer to David’s parents and warmth and to something more affordable.  (We had been in VA and moved in Jan during one of the worst snow storms we had had in years.)  We lived with family for two years and I was able to transfer my work at home position.  I tried to do some part time photography and sell jewelry, but we were in a very small town and no one had money for extras.  Now, in 2012, we were finally ready to move into our own home.  Little did I know that we were considered to be in the boonies for many internet services and our only option was to get satellite service.  It works pretty well, but unfortunately, work at home companies do not allow satellite internet.  Now I needed another job.  We were in a town even smaller than the last one, if that was even possible, and the economy hadn’t picked up.  No photography here and I just haven’t been able to make jewelry into a full time business.  Nothing wrong with the pieces, just no one has it in their budget.

I joined a local brick and mortar call center. However, they have no incentives at all, too many politics and virtually no upward mobility, but it does pay the bills.  I worked here for 1.5 years until a problem with some surgery left me with a pretty weak voice.  No way I could work at a call center for 1-2 hours, let alone 8.  I had to take a leave of absence, unpaid of course, until I either found another job or could get my voice back, which is still a possibility.  So again, back to job hunting, this time for one that doesn’t require much use of your voice.

Brick and Mortar Building

So now I have had 6 jobs in 24 years.  May not seem like much, but I never seem to get ahead.  We paid tens of thousands of dollars to be able to build 6 websites and supposedly make lots of money like this guy selling wheat grass.  I am still trying to pay off that credit card.  Other things I have tried in order to make money are investing, taking surveys, providing leads on vacant homes, selling home items, making my car into an ad, being a virtual assistant, selling and creating scrapbooks, getting points and rewards for using certain search engines and probably others.  I’ve been there, tried it and it didn’t work.  And I was still going to be working for someone else.  Even when trying other online businesses, you are paying someone for the website access, but you never get to speak with a live person, you have to figure out SEO and getting ranked, and then once your website is out there, everyone sends you an email telling you how they can make it better – for a fee of course!  

Work for Yourself

You don’t need to try all of that.  Why? Because I can already tell you it doesn’t work.  If someone told you a car you were looking to buy was a lemon, would you still buy it?  If you heard a movie had bad reviews, would you still go see it? You might.  Sometimes we need to learn to make our own mistakes.   I want to help you avoid that.  Don’t waste 24 years trying to figure it out.  Here is the solution, right here at Wealthy Affiliate.  If someone had told me about this back then, I probably wouldn’t have to work for anyone but myself.  My husband and I could take trips and enjoy life a bit more.  So don’t think about it, just do it.  Sign up, start the training and start working for yourself.  Many people will be right beside you if you need help. Don’t worry that you may need to improve your website after you start or that you might make a mistake.  I’ve pushed past my comfort level and tried things I normally wouldn’t because I thought I might feel stupid or others may think less of me.  I haven’t felt that way at all.  Try it, it doesn’t cost anything.  You’ll be glad you did.  Just take that first step, here at Getting Started.


I completed a tandem jump just like this in Las Vegas.  It was great and only took one step to achieve!  Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and succeeded?  Tell me about it below.  To see my blogs, training and how I started at Wealthy Affiliate, visit my profile.