The Gold Watch Challenge: $30k, Thai Millionaire in the Bank.

A few years ago, I was living in Los Angeles, making $48,000 a year, yet my bank account was never full.  In fact, I was in debt as most Americans are.  I had a car payment, student loans, and a credit card bill to pay off.  My goal was to save $200 a month to put towards vacation.  You know...the vacation fund we all dream about.

Exactly a year ago I was living the "good life on the cheap" in Thailand, but I was living on a strict $600 a month budget.  My entire income was reliant on kindle book sales.

Fast forward to November 15th, 2013.  I had been running my first online store for about five months by then.  I was starting to see a decent sales and was tempted to start spending money like a mad man. But I knew that wouldn't fulfill me.  That's when I came up with the

Thai Millionaire Challenge.

1 Million Thai baht = $30,741 US Dollars

On air, live during interview with Anton for Episode 10, I gave myself a challenge. By the end of 2014 I wanted to have the equivalent of one million Thai baht in my bank account in spendable money.

You can listen to the entire episode where it unfolded here:

Listen to Episode 10 with Anton for free.

The Gold Watch Challenge:

So why the gold watch?  Well, growing up, my dream was to graduate from a good university, get a good job at a big American company and work there until retirement.  Job stability was important, as well as working hard through the ranks and getting promoted.  When I retired, I wanted to have a good retirement fund, and be rewarded for my hard work.  Maybe then, I could move to a place like Thailand and enjoy my free time and travel.  

The symbol for retiring from a company after 40 years of service was usually a gold watch.  I know it's a bit of an old tradition, but growing up, it's something I've always dreamed of and thought was important.

Retiring at 32.

To say that I'm retired, living the easy life and enjoying the beaches in Thailand would be a lie. Firstly because I'm actually in Saigon for a month right now.  But second, I work, and I work a lot.  I have a business to run, and am constantly researching new niches, starting new drop ship stores, and growing my business.  

But I am retired in a sense that I now know that I will never work for anyone else ever again.  

Achieving $30k in the bank would mean that I would have a two year safety buffer even if I decided to stop working today, but that won't happen.  It also means that I have $30k to invest in new businesses, get into manufacturing my own products, or just take a long mini-retirement if I chose to.  Most of all, it's a goal and a target that if you asked me a year ago, I would have thought to be impossible.

It's not just a dream.

A few days ago, I paid off all of my credit cards.  I have zero debt, no student loans, no car payment, and all of my business invoices have been paid in full.  I looked at my bank statement and thought there was a mistake.  I'm sure some orders haven't been billed yet, but then again, I still have $3.5k pending which would cover any of that.  

I was tempted to wait until after April taxes were due to see how much I need to pay this year even though my goal is to have most business and travel written off as an expense.   But then I told myself to stop thinking and to just smile and celebrate.

Making it count.

Ever since the podcast I started looking at gold watches every time I passed by a store in the mall.  It was both for motivation and also  to slowly look to see what brand and style I wanted.  I knew it had to be gold.  I wanted it to be simple and I wanted it to to have a bigger face than normal, as I have a big wrist.  Then I saw it.  The only was too cheap.  In my mind, when I said "gold watch when I hit $30k" I thought reasonably I could spend a few thousand on the watch and not have it be out of budget.  But this was the exact watch I wanted, and I could afford to just buy it that day without it being a big deal.

But I forced myself to wait.  I realized it wasn't about the watch, the price tag or the style.  It was about being able to look down on it every time I was on my computer and smiling, remembering how far I've come.  Taking it off at the end of the day and having it signify something.

Goal Achieved:

Looking down at my wrist while typing this post, words cannot express how good it feels.  It's not about the watch, as in reality, it wasn't even that expensive.  Instead, it is the feeling of reaching a goal, a goal that just a few months ago seemed like it would take a year or more to achieve.  A goal that one year ago I would have thought was impossible.

YES!  HECK YES!  Seriously, you have no freaking idea how good it feels to know I've achieved this challenge.  I'm starting to think the "Secret" really does work.  If you keep thinking about a goal, if you write it down and announce it to the world, somehow the universe starts steering you towards it. My buddy Dan once said, "When you pray, move your feet."  I know it wasn't just wishful thinking that allowed me to hit my goals, but staying positive, optimistic, surrounding myself with like minded people all helped. It was having a system that actually worked in place, not spending money faster than I was saving it, and continuing to grow my business.

My personal and business checking accounts.

My checking account I use for international ATM withdrawals.

Want to take the Gold Watch Challenge?  

Reply to this in the comments and say you're in.  Join the club.  Get $30k in your bank.  Go out and buy yourself a gold watch.  Tell your boss to f#@! off. Never apply for a job again.

And be your own 401k.

The Money Trail

2012 - My primary income source was from teaching Scuba Diving, I was making around $1,000 a month while getting to travel, dive, eat and live on island resorts.  

2013 - I stopped teaching diving because it was killing my passion for it, so instead, I focused on Muay Thai.  I made some money from advertising on the blog but nothing notable.  I ended up writing a book which continues to give me around $200 a month in profit.  

2014 - For the past 8 months, my primary source of income has been from my ecommerce stores.  I continue to make a few hundred dollars a month from advertising on my blogs and book sales, and in the past few month I have started earning income optimizing other people's ecommerce stores for conversions but the majority of my earnings came from my drop shipping stores.

Recommended Resources:

Need some motivation? 

Listen to the Travel Like a Boss Podcast.  Featuring weekly interviews with successful entrepreneurs and small business owners who manage their online businesses while traveling like a boss, by being their own boss.

Want to learn how to start your own online business? 

Sign up for the same step by step course that I followed at  I didn't know a single thing about drop shipping or eCommerce a year ago, and now I own a handful of successful online stores that bring daily sales and profits.

Ready to start your own online store?

This is the software I use to make my websites, list products and manage my sales.  You can sign up for a free trial here.  Shopify is easy to use and does not require any web design skills to get started.

Hate your job and want to get started? 

Read the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris and 12 Weeks in Thailand.  I wrote the book exactly a year ago where I share my story on quitting my job, moving to Thailand and living on a $600 a month budget while getting started.

I sincerely hope everyone reading this success in your own journeys.  Keep in touch and show me that gold watch when you get it!  Leave a comment and let me know you're in.

If you haven't yet, read my latest book: Life Changes Quick for more info on goal setting, and achieving the results.

Warm Regards and Best wishes,


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Post a Comment

  1. I like what your doing brotha keep it up!

    1. Thanks BK, keep on crushing it in the MMA cage!

  2. Gold all in my watch! Don't believe me just watch! -Dexter

    1. Gold all in my chain, gold all in my ring
      Gold all in my watch, don't believe me just watch
      Nigga nigga nigga don't believe me just watch
      Don't believe me just watch, nigga nigga nigga. - All Gold Everything, Trinidad James, 2 Chainz, T.I..

  3. Count me in Johnny - I love the idea of the gold watch - it symbolizes EVERYTHING that I left when I quit my 9-5 Government job and ventured out as an entrepreneur. I am still chasing the life I truly desire so that is what this challenge will represent for me - I desire to have a lifestyle business that allows me to travel the world.

    Oh...and I will be joining you in Thailand by the end of 2014.

    Nathan (Richer44)

    1. Hey Nathan I know exactly what you mean. I never ever ever want to work for a company again. I can't believe I used to dream about having a secure government job that I couldn't get fired from. Keep chasing your the life you truly desire and you'll get it. I'm glad you are committing to the challenge, I look forward to seeing you with your new gold watch and in Thailand by the end of 2014. Best of luck!

  4. I really like what you have done for yourself. I have been rich before but I am also now in debt but work very hard and on my way to be like you having money in the bank.

    1. Hey Jacob, you will be rich again, I know it. Keep working hard and crush it!

  5. Amazing Johnny! Simply Amazing! I'm in!

    1. Glad you're on board and in on the challenge! Good luck.

  6. Proud of you my brotha...

  7. Hey johnny I have been reading your blog and watching your videos for over a year and I am proud of your comeup. Keep going! Oh and I am definitely in.

    1. Welcome to the challenge Robert, I'm glad you've been following my journey and I'm glad you're in!

  8. Hi Johnny, congrats on your effort and well done on getting your gold watch. The smile on your face says it all! I am very keen to take this challenge and learn/apply everything I possibly can. Would be great to connect with you, please reach out to me on twitter @fighterservices when you can. Thanks heaps, Gavin..

    1. Hey thanks Gavin, haha I just looked at the photo again and I guess I am smiling really big. I'm glad you are taking the challnege buddy! I found you on twitter, best of luck with everything!

  9. Nice Watch - and a great concept/goal!

    1. Hey Daman, thanks I appreciate it! I hope everyone takes on the challenge as well!

  10. Hi Johnny, My name is Flo. I am flat broke, no money in the bank, a baby and a wife to take care of and a $600 a week mortgage.
    Come back next year this time, I will post a comment from Italy or a Cruise Ship through Europe.

    1. Hey Flo, glad you are up for the challenge! Keep in touch and let me know your progress. Love to see your photos from Italy and a Cruise ship around Europe!

  11. Just now saw this. Congrats and awesome work!

  12. Great Post Johnny, Im working to get my niche store up and running

    1. Do it! Let me know how it goes! The first $30k is the hardest then it doubles and triples quickly.

  13. A friend just mentioned this to me, I didn't realise till i withdrew from an ATM in Chiang Mai I was a thai millionaire for now anyway. (taxes, credit card debt will have to go soon)

    1. Nice congrats! Now it's time to increase your online income so you can stay one!

  14. You need to check out here for some hints on how to write narrative essay. Every good student should use it to become better


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