I started writing this post series about 6 months ago. I got 3 parts in and never wrote the last one. So here I am finishing it up. I put off writing this last one for a multitude of reasons which I’ll explore later in this post.

Coming off our first big win, we were high in spirits. We went on to visit a couple more colleges over the subsequent weeks. A recurring struggle was the inability to find a good spot to park the behemoth of a vehicle we were driving around. But we persisted and attempted to put on a few more events.

Ben still owned a landscaping business back in Michigan and it required his attention. When we left, he set his employees off on a good foot for the most part. He set expectations well, left detailed instructions, and implemented a structure that would theoretically allow him to manage the business with minimal effort from afar.

But we all know theory is different from reality.

Things started to fall apart. Employees were threatening to quit, work wasn’t getting done, and cashflow dwindled. Something had to be done.

We were in Austin, Texas when he rented a car and started driving 12 hours back to Michigan. He stopped in Chicago to visit a friend on the way, and while he was there, the car got broken into and his bag was stolen.

All our video footage was in that bag.

Meanwhile back in Texas, it was just our DJ and me.

It’s difficult to describe how I felt at this point in the journey. It felt somewhat stagnant. We had decided to do this big thing together, and a month in, a wrench had been thrown in our plans. I wasn’t sure if I could do it on my own. I felt lost. We had some plans initially, but most of what kept this tour running was our faith that we could create something out of nothing. Now that Ben had been pulled back to focus on getting his business taken care of, that faith felt severed.

We posted up in Austin for a couple weeks to put things on hold. I went to some events, met some cool people and had fun, but my actions were mostly aimless. I didn’t have much of a plan.

Ben came back two weeks later and we headed to Denver.

The next several months were pretty mild. We had some minor wins and some minor losses, but nothing big happened.

Our original plan to stop at colleges had mostly died off by this point. We felt the pressure of our diminishing bank accounts, so we shifted our focus to building some cash flow. We attempted as much as we could to see what would stick.

We sold t-shirts and books. We tried taking other entrepreneurs on tour to launch their businesses. We played music in the streets for cash. We tried to find coaching clients. We tried to launch a course to help people start a career without college. We tried to speak at colleges.

I ended up getting my book in one small book store in Colorado, but I didn’t make much money from it. It just took cold calling book stores to make this happen.

We made our way through New Mexico, Arizona, and eventually California until we couldn’t go any further west. Everything we tried was fun, difficult, and unsustainable. That initial faith that drove us to go on this crazy adventure in the first place was gone. Reality had begun to set in and time was running out.

Ben flew back to Michigan one last time to sell his business. This time he was staying until the job was done. The tour was officially over.

I was the only one left. I found myself sitting alone in an RV somewhere in California with no money and nothing of value to show for the past six months.

I followed my gut. I bought fully into my own vision and didn’t look back.

I fell flat on my face. I failed miserably.

One day, I remember sitting in the RV feeling defeated. There was a homeless man across the parking lot. I looked at him sitting there in the sun, just like I was, idle, not creating anything valuable, and probably feeling defeated too.

I guess you could call it rock bottom.

After that moment, I decided to get to work. I did the one thing I do better than anyone else. I went straight to the nearest neighborhood and started knocking on doors to find house painting customers.

It was hard without an LLC, insurance, a website, a brand name, or any evidence of a business. But I didn’t have time to make excuses. I didn’t want to run a painting business again. But the alternative was to sit still and do nothing. Within a week I had booked up a job. Within 2 weeks I had painted a house and made $4,000 cash.

It’s amazing what you can do when your back is against a wall.

After getting myself back on my feet, I got rid of the RV and the rest is history.

There were so many things I could have done differently that would have turned the experience into a success. Looking back, we could have done much better with documenting our story. We hardly made any videos and I only wrote 6 or 7 blog posts. We could have created a much better digital presence to get people to stand behind our vision.

But I wouldn’t have known any of that if I didn’t go through what I went through. I’m grateful for everything that happened and I wouldn’t change it if I could. The amount of self-knowledge I gained is unprecedented, not to mention all the good memories.

I learned that pure passion can only take you so far. I learned that creating value for people is the best thing you can do to earn money. I learned that you must interact with your customers as much as possible if you want to sell them something. I learned that a digital paper trail (or lack thereof) can make or break a business. I learned that you can’t find fulfillment from sitting around and learning to be OK with your current situation. I learned that creating is the most fulfilling thing you can do. I learned that I can create something out of nothing (very quickly) if I have a reason to.

Considering how the RV tour ended, it makes sense that I put off writing this final part. It’s anti-climactic, I know.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story.



This is Part 4 of a series I’m doing on my experience touring the country in an RV trying to convince people to drop out of college.

Part 3 | Back to Part 1