Confessions, Cautionary Tales & Case Studies

The Personal Blog of the Undaunted Hustler

Opinions so new, they may not even be mine yet. 
I blog about business, family, & goals. 
When I'm out of willpower, I talk politics

Ruby’s Journal

Ruby’s Journal

Has a journal. Currently, in her journal are nothing but memories of what her friend from Portland are like.  So she doesn’t forget them.

Pentel NeedleTip 0.5 MM Ball Gel Pens

Pentel NeedleTip 0.5 MM Ball Gel Pens

Not for nothing, but these are my current favorite pens.

The Hard Way

The Hard Way

We find ourselves at a rockclimbing exhibit a few years ago.

My boy Jack, then 6 looks up at three paths.

The easy path with lots of handholds.  The hard path with few handholds and tricky angles.


To Jack, it’s not a choice.  He tells the attendant “Our family rule is that we do everything the hard way.”

Too true.  He tries to go up the hard way – his first time rockclimbing.  Admirable, but foolhardy.

Our family. Same deal. A wind sprint from the couch.

We eloped and didn’t have the support and sendoff from the people that loved us.  This put us on a rocky path.

We bought real estate in the ghetto.  The place where the cap rates were high, but the tenants were even higher.  That was the overhead lesson.  (Thank you, Robert Kiyosaki).

I changed jobs every 2 years or so to chase away wanderlust.

We’re both stubborn people and we wanted justice at the expense of everything else. Someone had to be right, someone had to be wrong.

We didn’t take care of our health.  Good genetics kept us out of the hospital.

We sold all we owned and then packed everything we owned – everything – and put it in a minivan to get a change of scenery and we moved from Columbus to Portland.

Then, Heather was enrolled in an intense program that selects a select few and works them hard.

With a 3 and a 6 year old.

That’s the hard way.

That’s how we did things.  There’s more: taking on overhead, running a startup.  It was ugly and it was terrible.

Now, we’ve gotten Heather earning income.  We’ve gotten into a house that we love.  Everything – everything should be easier.

Current Projects & Status

Current Projects & Status

Simplifilm:  This is my main revenue generating project.  We made some Q4, 2015 errors that we are paying mightily for right now.  Our current sprint lasts between now and April 30th.  The goal is to have clean books and financial integrity everywhere.

The Line Which Is Dotted:  This is my “Pixar.” It’s a to-be-launched project that will teach what I know.  Simplifilm has had a lot of success and we we’ve had over 400 clients.  I can teach the methods to get and keep clients.  This will have a podcast, Facebook Group.  I’ll be building it as a personal platform to teach sales and selling to anyone that needs to know.



For 7 years, Heather has been going to school to be a Nurse Practitioner. She’s worked in an intense program while we’ve lived in Portland.  It was intense, financially it was tens of thousands of dollars (I don’t even know anymore).

It was relentless pressure for Heather. Every test was the end of the world.

It was pressure for me, financial failure meant Heather couldn’t go on.

This made it hard, we stared at the abyss. What kind of family arrangement do we want? Do we capitulate?  Break up the band?

Of the people in her (elite) program, during her program 40% of them didn’t leave the program with the partner they started with.  We came as close as humans can to that abyss.

I had to make choices at the business to generate cash today to pay the bills. That was pressure. We had to take now money out and take higher salaries than we needed, for both me and my partner. The personal cash needs constrained some of our options.

That’s over.

I have serious challenges to overcome in the business. But the conditions have never been more favorable to me.

I don’t have to earn much money from it, for now.

I work from home now – will never have the type of overhead I had before.

My life is set up to have some success. and I look forward to what’s to come.

Anatomy of a Death Spiral: the Inside Story of the Firesale of a 7 Figure Business

By Christopher Johnson | February 1, 2019

I recently sold my business – a business that I had for 7 years and concluded my involvement in it. I sold out a longtime friend/client/ally for a fee that represents some of the value in the leads, contacts, processes that were working well, but we didn’t get the multiple that one would hope for […]

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Unfinished Business

By Christopher Johnson | October 14, 2018

I left Real Estate in 2008. In something of a huff, with the confident contempt that I’d never be back. Good riddance, we said to one another at the time. I had done all the jobs in the industry, pretty much. The last one had me as a mortgage lender, and I was waiting out […]

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By Christopher Johnson | October 12, 2018

One of the things I love about the current economy is its opportunity. People can be anything, do anything. The thing I hate? There are so many people that achieve a tiny modicum of success, they are one chapter ahead in the book, and they then stop practicing. They start teaching. A couple exceptions would […]

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By Christopher Johnson | October 10, 2018

Not too long ago, my friend Tim Paige was musing on Facebook about people with dual careers. Dual Careers by choice, and not because they were beginners. Tim comes from over in Voice Over, and there are a lot of people that do that gig part time. Or they do it while also pursuing something […]

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Hustle as Performance Art.

By Christopher Johnson | September 20, 2018

(Really cool poster by Joey Roth) Most people don’t hustle. Sturgeon’s Law and all that. The big blue ocean is too big and scary for them, and they seek the familiar. I’ve been that guy way way more than I’d like to admit. Like me, most people think they hustle. It’s comforting to think that […]

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Notes On Hamilton

By Christopher Johnson | August 28, 2018

While Heather and I were driving around the PNW for a really great little 5-day vacation, we listened to Hamilton a few times. I have been listening to the choruses for a long time, but I never had the chance to REALLY listen. But man, oh man! This work was genius. The density of the […]

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To Be In Practice

By Christopher Johnson | August 15, 2018

One of the things about opening up a business is that you need to find your way to what you want to do. In my case, I’ve missed out on being a practitioner of sales for a few years. Thinking back, it’s been over three years since I’ve really sold with the idea that maximizing […]

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Dear Microsoft:

By Christopher Johnson | July 24, 2018

Dear Microsoft: Listen, I am rooting for you. I love me a good comeback story, and it seems that you are dialed in right now. And I’m glad. But, look, you’ve got to respect me a little bit more. I have two of your products: Office 360 and Xbox One. And they both annoy me […]

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The Muse Vs. The Practice

By Christopher Johnson | July 19, 2018

We’ve all had those moments where we can work effortlessly. Where it “comes.” Our creative output is remarkable. The Muse visits. They happen. It’s a thing. We’re right to embrace those days. We’re right to feel proud and good of being in the flow and producing something great. Emrace anything that helps. The beginner, though, believes these […]

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That Old Familiar Fear

By Christopher Johnson | July 7, 2018

For the last year, I’ve been winding down Simplifilm. I’ve got this idea about what I did right, which was getting clients for agencies. I love to sell, I love to hunt and I love to help. So I put a little site together with the intentions of launching something on Monday. At Simplifilm I […]

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