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Jeff started DollarSprout in 2015. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on DollarSprout?
Growing up and even in college, I had no desire to ever become an entrepreneur. It wasn’t until my very first job out of school that I realized “Woah, I really don’t like working for someone else”.
I was working at a wealth management firm, where I helped a team of financial advisors with investing money for our clients. The job itself wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t like certain parts of the work environment and thought I could do things better on my own. Meetings, difficult coworkers, meaningless processes … they weren’t for me.
I was 25 when I left my fulltime job. I had saved up a little over $20,000, which I figured would last for about a year. It lasted for 9 months. I ended up having to go back to work because I was dead broke.
When I decided I wanted to build my own online business, the original idea I had was to create a subscription-based investing website. I, along with my business partner and long-time friend Ben Huber, planned on researching stocks and sharing our “trade secrets” to our paying subscribers.
One of the biggest mistakes Ben and I made was never validating the idea before deciding to go all in. In fact, when I quit my job in August 2015 to pursue entrepreneurship, we had 0 audiences and 0 revenue. Don’t make the same mistakes we did!
As it turns out, our business today looks nothing like what we originally planned on it being. All of our content is free, our readers never pay us a dime, and we don’t even have display ads on the site. Through trial and error, we found our stride in affiliate marketing and eventually became laser-focused on that as our sole business model.
I was 25 when I left my fulltime job. I had saved up a little over $20,000, which I figured would last for about a year.
It lasted for 9 months.
I ended up having to go back to work because I was dead broke. Persistence (and realizing it was time to pivot) finally paid off, and about 10 months after going back to work, I was able to leave again. It’s been about 2 years since I left, and I am optimistic that this time it’s for good.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater