My RetireAt21 Interview

January 13, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz

RetireAt21.com interviewed me about a week ago, and now the interview is up on their website. I normally decline interviews these days as they don’t normally bring in much traffic or exposure, and they take a while to do. I also feel a bit strange about doing them since I’m not a millionaire or anything.

Therefore, I initially politely declined RetireAt21’s request for an interview, but after Michael Dunlop’s continued persistence, I had to say yes – I like to reward persistence :)

You can read the full interview on RetireAt21.com, as well as some other high-profile people in the industry such as Scott Wainner and Graham Langdon (MillionDollarWiki and Entrecard creator).

You made over $100,000 last year from your websites, what did you spend this money on?

First, most of the money goes towards bills. I have a bi-weekly mortgage, credit card, strata fees, hydro, cable, cell phone, insurance, hosting…. right off the bat that takes a good chunk of change. 

Next, I put away money each month for taxes. I unfortunately have to pay a lot of taxes, especially since I’m not a corporation yet, although that’s on the agenda. It’s kind of scary seeing just how much money I save up in taxes, only to have to surrender to the government come tax time.

I only spend a small amount of cash back into my websites, although I plan on putting some more money back into my sites soon. I’ll occasionally “splurge” and pick up a nice domain or two, but I normally don’t spend any more than $100-300 (not including hosting) on my websites in a month.

As for the rest of the money, in early 2007 I bought a condo, which I’ll continue to have to pay for for a while yet. I also spent quite a lot of money on food (I love food, and eat out at restaurants often or order delivery), gambled away a lot in online poker and poker at the casino, bought 360 and Wii games, and bought some furniture (coffee table, bistro set, etc.)

You successfully brokered a domain for $23,000 how did this feel?

To clarify, I sold the domain for $200,000 USD, and received a cheque for $23,000 CDN. It was a great feeling, of course. It took quite a while to find the “right” buyer though. I had contacted a lot of interested parties, but most offers wouldn’t exceed the $100,000 mark, and my client was pretty adamant about his asking price. I finally found the right buyers, and in the end everyone was very happy.

It was also a very exciting time for me, as I had just purchased my condo and was still unpacking when I finally sold the domain.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started. What business related advice would you give yourself?

Invest in Google :-) To be honest, this question is not really fair to answer since hindsight is always 20/20. The best and easiest advice to give, though, would be to invest in domains. While I didn’t have much money back then since I was only working a part-time job, if I knew then what I know now, I could have invested $5,000 into domain names and sold them today for $5-$10 million – no exaggeration on those numbers, either.

Do you think that entrepreneurialism is something that is in your blood? Or is it something that can be learned?

Good question. I think it’s a bit of both, to be honest. I think you could have worked a standard 9-5 job until you were 42, then read some inspirational books, reassess your life, quit your job and do just fine as an entrepreneur. On the other hand, I also believe that part of being an entrepreneur is being able to take calculated risks, and if you’re not risk-adverse then you won’t be giving yourself the opportunities that are needed to succeed.

Is there anyone that you look up to and model yourself on?

To be honest, I’ve never really had any role models growing up, let alone now. However, there are certainly people I admire. Basically, I admire anyone who has good business ethics, and worked hard but smart in order to achieve success. And bonus points to those who didn’t have a “helping hand”, such as growing up in a rich family.

Guy Laliberté would be a great example. He started as a street performer, then made a little company called Cirque du Soleil, and is now a self-made billionaire. Yes, billionaire. I gained even greater respect for him when I saw him on the TV show High Stakes Poker. They are playing with their own real cash with a $500,000 buy-in. In addition to Laliberté already vowing to donate 50% of his proceeds to charity, he showed his true generosity when the following situation occurred: Laliberté was in a hand with poker pro David Benyamine, and they both ended up all-in on the flop in a pot worth 1.3 million dollars. When they turned their cards over (with two cards still to come), they saw that Laliberté was the clear favourite.

Seeing this, Laliberté immediately said in a very kind manner “Hey, listen. I understand that this is a lot of money to you. It does not make a big difference to me, but I know it is a lot of money for you. So, we can chop the pot, or… you decide what to do. I know it is a lot of money to you so it is up to you”. By chopping the pot, he meant basically they would both take half of the pot. Sensing that Benyamine was a bit embarrassed to accept his gesture, he offered another proposition “How about this. I just take what it is here and we forget about it?”. There was only about $180,000 in the actual middle of the table, even though the pot was $1.3 million. This is because they didn’t actually throw all their chips and wads of cash into the middle, since they both declared being “all-in”. The real pot was actually 1.3 million, but only $180,000 cash was actually physically in the middle.

Before Benyamine accepted the deal (saving himself half a million dollars) Doyle Brunson, a poker legend at the table, brought some levity to the table when he said to Benyamine, referring to the pot size and Laliberté’s offer “This represents a day in his life…. and…. your life!”.

Even though Laliberté is a billionaire, poker is poker and the only reason he offered the deal was because he didn’t want to financially hurt somebody.

Read the full interview

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: January 13th, 2008 under Personal  

36 Responses to “My RetireAt21 Interview”

  1. KiwiPulse says:

    Nice interview Tyler, im proud to be one of your fellow blogger! :D

  2. Slam Blogger says:

    Wonder why he was so persistent… Could it be the free plug you gave him. Folding under pressure…. Tisk Tisk :P

    You’ll be interested to know that I’m going to try and help you win this little contest of yours. How many votes do you need? I don’t have a lot to give away to entice people, but I do have 200 EC credits.
    At 20 a piece per vote, you’d get 10 more votes.
    Sound good? All I ask is that you read my slam of Park, in which I will tell my readers about what I’m doing. Haven’t posted it yet, (Haven’t written it yet) , but give me about an hour (I get sidetracked easily, I’m surpised I’ve typed this much for a comment and still know what I’m talking about!) and it’ll be up.

    Good luck

  3. Desmond says:

    Congrats Tyler. This means you are already a top marketer on the internet. :-D

  4. Chris says:

    Wow! that’s an incredibly generous and thoughtful offer from Laliberté, I’ve never heard of anything like that happening in poker. Classic remark by Brunson lol. Is there a video of this somewhere?

  5. Great interview Tyler, thanks for doing it :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think you meant “risk-averse,” but even so that means “aversion to risk,” which is the opposite of what you were trying to say.

  7. Adam says:

    You need to buy a new couch with that $23K. I have not seen anything like that orange thing since 1975. Did you get that out of your parents storage?

  8. oyun says:

    Great interview Tyler

  9. Will says:

    The interview was almost like a “time of reflection”. Every big thing you have accomplished was mentioned.

  10. 1MansMoney says:

    Great interview Tyler. Keep up the good work.

    -1MansMoney

  11. Lori says:

    I think you just wanted to show off that couch again;) It’s starting to grow on me.

    GREAT STUFF

  12. shy guy says:

    Whoa.. 100 K for last year…
    It is just too much..
    More than my 5 years working ..
    Awesome…

  13. […] in domains Jan 14, 2008, posted in Work Tyler recently published an interview with him and the one thing that stood out for me was this; (when asked if he could go back in […]

  14. Hey Tyler, Congratulations on your success! I see indeed that you are a real person from this post. Too bad I didn’t find that out in time to vote for you in the contest.

  15. Derek Baker says:

    You have a nack for selling those domain names Tyler. I like the reference to High Stakes Poker in the interview, I would have liked to see the hand played out anyway and ran twice. Hope you continue to have success in 2008 and to help you win that competition I will be voting for YOU tomorrow!

  16. Jack Rack says:

    “I unfortunately have to pay a lot of taxes, especially since I’m not a corporation yet, although that’s on the agenda.”

    How will becoming a corporation let you pay less tax dollars? What state do you plan to incorporate in?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Well, corporations simply pay less tax. I’m not quite making enough to warrant incorporating yet, but soon it would make sense since it’s not fun going up the tax brackets.

      I’ll be incorporating in BC, Canada.

      • Jack Rack says:

        “Well, corporations simply pay less tax.”

        Actually, that’s only true in certain situations; that’s why I was asking.

        • Tyler Cruz says:

          Yeah, true.

          I live in BC, Canada though and our corporate tax rate is quite good; I’d be saving close to half as much as I’m paying in personal/sole proprietor income tax.

  17. Very good interview, you made a great deal with this domain, u r a smart cookie ;]

  18. Becky says:

    nice interview, I like that the questions are not really run of the mill. It’s a good read and is well written. Well done Michael & Tyler :D

  19. Will says:

    tyler, you should make another inspiration video like the one you made earlier.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Hehe, maybe in a year or two when I have something to inspire people about ;)

      That video was made because I had taken the risk of moving out from my parents basement into my own apartment and tried making money from this ‘net’ thing… it was kind of a showcase of my accomplishments.

      If I ever make another ‘leap’ in success, then sure, I’ll do another video :-)

      • Alan Johnson says:

        Come on now Tyler, there’s no need to underestimate yourself and I am sure that the “leap” you’ve mentioned will come a lot sooner than you’d expect :)

        Alan Johnson

  20. Remo says:

    I do have one question and I really am interested in the response as I think you avoided it in the interview and in most of your posts

    Lets just say 3 years from wheres it at, I hear lots of comment on how you want to develop the blog and give examples of John Chow and Shoemoney

    Are you not going in reverse, they developed online businesses which were highly successful and due to that fact have ended up with for many would consider a decent “living” from blog income

    I do think developing a blog like they have is a good goal, but whats your ultimate point what are your plans for the future, I estimate you have tapped about 30% – 40% of the possibilities with pokerforums and thats where all the revenue comes from

    Open question – If you had no TCruz site in the morning wheres your growth coming from

    – what gives you the right to comment, influence (by text) others when it would appear to others you have done very little but been lucky and openly admit you struggle to do (never mind the comps) a 25 hour week

    So tomorrow morning there is no Poker Forums its banned your pretty much screwed in 6 months

    Asking in a nice way and correct me if Im wrong

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Don’t worry, I’m not offended.

      But, could you not say the same thing to the other bloggers? What if John Chow’s TheTechZone suddenly crashed, or Shoemoney’s affiliating and business ventures?

      These guys are obviously a lot more successful than me and have their hands in several projects, but if you want to put the situation where my biggest income maker dies, you need to look at it from the others situation as well.

      Also, a lot of people seem to think that I proclaim myself a guru or claim to teach others how to become rich – if I ever made those claims then obviously yes, I’d agree with you that I have no right to that, but I’ve never made those claims.

      While I give advice and my opinion on my blog, it’s really more of a journal than of a “how-to” guide, because I in fact don’t have the credentials to implement that.

      In fact, I have an upcoming blog post planned that is going to touch on my recent annoyance of all the “make money online” blogs out there who are giving out all this advice, but where does that advice stem from? What online successes have they had?

  21. gasmoney says:

    good interview and congrats on your success.

  22. Nice sale w/ dat 200-g domain name…quality interview.

  23. If only I’d know now what you knew back then…
    I don’t need 5-10 million $, I’ll settle with just 500.000$ :P
    I’m going to start reading your blog more carefully, maybe I’ll be able to learn from you!
    Oh, and nice interview ;) Next time, share some more tips with your readers :D

PeerFly

Leave a Reply