man standing arms crossed looking at camera with vietnam mountains in background

My Story

Hi there!

I’m Daniel, the creator of

Hopefully, you find humor and motivation in the name as much as I do. You see, I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others.

I’m also passionate about making money in my underpants.

Hopefully, you’re here because you want to build a sustainable online business as much as I want you to. Because that’s why I created this blog, to help people like you.

Throughout my career, I’ve gained extensive knowledge in online entrepreneurship, personal finance, and making money from home. You might be exactly where I was a few short years ago wondering what to do. Well…

I want to help you escape the rat race and start making money at home, on your terms.

I want to help you achieve financial freedom and build your online business.

I want to help you become your own success story.

So read on for, what I hope, is an inspirational story about me.

My early years

man in kayak with fishing pole and raised straw hat

I grew up in Northern Wisconsin in an extremely dull and unexciting rural town. The population in my home village (yes it’s so small it is not even classified as a town) was only 844. Yes, I knew everyone in the town.

And I also knew I didn’t want to stay there.

From an early age, I knew I wanted to travel the world and see what it had to offer. When I was in kindergarten, as an assignment, I wrote on a piece of paper what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I wrote that I wanted to live in 100 countries.

two young men with travel backpacks posing for photo

This goal was ambitious for a 5-year-old me. But I’ve never forgotten it. When I was in 4th grade I remember thinking how I couldn’t wait to get into middle school. I wanted to be grown up so I could do what I wanted.

Then when I was in middle school, I couldn’t wait to get into high school. I would have the freedom to walk the halls on my own and go where I wanted. High school came and I found myself wanting to be in college more than anything. I wanted to get done with it and “start my life.” I graduated high school.

3 days later I was on a flight to Italy.

My brother had just finished his studies in Milan. We traveled around Greece and Italy for the summer holiday. I was in my element. Off and away from the tiny place, I had grown up.

Off to see the world.

University Studies

3 men, two women yelling. sitting on a boat in greece

At the end of the summer, I started at my first college with a triple major and double minor in art and business. Not a great combination, if you want financial independence. The business classes were far more exciting than learning to draw with charcoal on canvas. I still enjoyed them, but I was more interested in investing and building a successful business. Overall the school couldn’t hold my attention. I was not a model student either since I was mostly focused on getting a degree in how to chug beer. It wasn’t a great path to be on.

two men and two women with arms raised around a beer pyramid

Sometime in the middle of my 2nd semester as a freshman, I decided that I wasn’t learning what I wanted fast enough. Through family, I heard about a school with an accelerated program where I would get out in less than 2 years. It was a school for digital arts. I decided it was for me and convinced my mom and dad to cosign a loan. Shortly after, I moved to Orlando, Florida to attend Full Sail (now Full Sail University). My course of study was Computer Animation. Later I focused on compositing for film.

The school was (and still is!) incredibly taxing to anyone’s standards. I loved it.

It was open 24 hours per day and your class, teacher, and schedule changed every month. I attended lectures from midnight to 4 AM and labs from 4 AM to noon. I also attended classes from 8 AM until noon, and 2 PM until 6 PM. Every month was different and it was amazing. I learned computer animation using Maya, compositing in Shake, matte painting with Photoshop, and a host of other skills.

Learning Self Improvement

But more importantly, I learned how to be more of a self-starter, a go-getter, an achiever, and a doer. Graduating Full Sail is a testament to how dedicated I was. At that time, their dropout and failure rate was staggeringly high. It’s still not great today.

So when someone says they are an average person with no special skills and they are making money online. I say they are lying. They are special for the simple reason that they did something. Most people never even get started. To achieve something, you simply need to start. This makes you special. It makes you a doer. Someone who takes action and gets things done. And you can do this. It’s easy. All you have to do is start!

I’m proud I graduated Full Sail in the Fall of 2006. I was not so proud of the huge amount of debt I had acquired. But with a mountain of ambition to finally start my career, I moved to Los Angeles.

los angeles city at night c2006

Early Career

In late 2006, I moved in with some relatives and started freelancing for several film studios. It was hard with long hours, and the pay was low, but I had made it. The 9-to-5 grind was mine.

I had joined the rat race.

My starting salary was quite low for a Los Angeles lifestyle. And I was bad at debt management. I spent every spare penny on my student loans. Sound familiar? I was the same as everyone else in America. Uneducated about personal finance with no savings strategy, no investment plan or retirement planning yet. I told myself, I would learn that later when I needed to.

I bought a car, got insurance, rented an apartment, and acquired a cell phone bill for the first edition iPhone when it was released. All of the trappings of a normal American lifestyle were now mine. I could afford luxury products and live in debt on credit cards! Not a great way to achieve financial freedom.

At this time I had no thoughts about work-from-home jobs or online income opportunities. No amazing content creators were giving away their secrets for free! Or if they did exist, they were not mainstream yet.

For years, I worked 80+ hours per week, bouncing from studio to studio.

Visual effects is a hard industry to work in. The hours are long and the work is tedious. Before the days of social media and smartphones, it was hard to even find work!

I had massive student debts, a car payment, insurance, cellphone, electricity, internet… The list of expenses seemed to go on forever in those days. But somehow I made it work. I got by. I survived.

As my income grew over the years, so did my expenses. I didn’t know how to live a frugal lifestyle. I was spending everything I made and then some. Every major bank was handing out credit cards to anyone who wanted one.

two men looking at camera. one on a cellphone

In early 2008, I took a financial education course I found somewhere. It was expensive for someone already in debt up to his eyeballs. The $10,000 price tag was a lot, but it promised to help me “Finish Rich” with a private coach, calls, and weekly meetups, so I took it.

Remember, this was long before the days of online course platforms like Coursera or Udemy, where you can get this information for pennies compared to what I paid. No one was creating content for FREE about starting an online business, how to make money online, or the best side hustles of 2024. (You’re welcome!) We had to learn things the old-fashioned way.

With books, and a lot of studying.

These studies built on the knowledge I had acquired from my first college in 2003. I knew the principles of business and economics, but not the intricacies of finance, investing, and how to build wealth. I learned about self-improvement, entrepreneurship, how to build a passive income, retirement planning, debt management, budgeting, and investing. Taking this course played a significant role in improving my declining financial situation

I learned and started following the “snowball” method to pay off my credit cards – Start with the smallest and work your way up to the biggest. This helps create momentum in your brain and your payments. Not the best method maybe, but it was working.

My career was taking off and I landed a better job with a higher salary. I didn’t start spending more, I had improved my financial literacy. Thank you, Robert Kiyosaki!

Unfortunately, not all things can be planned for.

When the financial crisis hit in September 2008, I had some $18,000 invested in stocks. Almost overnight it turned into less than $4,000.

The company I worked for started laying off employees. One of them was me.

The writers’ strike had ended at the beginning of the year and there was still a lack of work in the visual effects industry.

I couldn’t find a job.

My bank account started feeling those unnecessary extra expenses.

Months past.

I started surviving on ramen noodles and $5 frozen pizzas. (Pro tip: You can split it into 2 meals for an easy $2.50 meal.)

Here I would love to say I was looking for work constantly, but the sad fact was: that there was none. Far more senior guys than me had lost their jobs as well. The visual effects space was crowded and everyone was trying to find a new job. So I worked out, looked for work, played video games, and drank too much.

Finally in the later part of 2009 right before I was going to leave LA because I was dead broke. I got a job. It was doing grunt work on the night shift at a studio in Hollywood, right behind the Capitol Records building. I worked incredibly hard, determined not to get laid off. I needed this job. Management noticed, but the project ended and I got let go.

Then I got a call.

My Big Break

The company wanted me back, but this time it was for a daytime position. I took it eagerly and worked even harder, glad to have a paycheck again. I would take on the most difficult tasks and polish them until they were nearly perfect. Determined NOT to lose my job again, I worked hard.

Again, I got noticed. This time, for a position overseas.

large team group of people wearing black shirts

In 2010, after years of hard work in an unforgiving industry, I got my first opportunity to travel for work. After almost going bankrupt and leaving LA with my head hung in shame, my hard work had paid off. I secured a job through hard work and determination. And now that job wanted to send me overseas to train other artists and manage a team. I was on top of the world!

Mumbai, India was waiting.

I was extremely excited about this opportunity. It was my first time traveling abroad since graduating in 2003, and now I was doing it for work! I felt like I was finally getting a little control over my life.

My position was a mid-level manager/team lead. I managed a team of artists to accomplish creative tasks with tight deadlines. They were all talented individuals and took to my teachings quickly. I would do 1-on-1 and group training sessions to improve the overall work quality. I kept detailed records of artists and their particular skills. I wanted to ensure each artist was capable of accomplishing their tasks on time! The challenge was enjoyable and it felt natural. Teaching others is incredibly rewarding to me.

We finished the projects and the work ended. I was on my way back to the US again, but before I went, I took time off to travel properly.

man in front of taj mahal with large group of people around

One of my brothers was living in Singapore, so I went to visit. I traveled for about 6 months through Southeast Asia. Every few weekends my brother would fly from Singapore to meet me wherever I was. After I spent most of my savings, I made my way back to Los Angeles.

Back to the rat race.

When I got back, everything was the same. But after living in India and traveling for 6 months, I wasn’t. I had grown and changed in ways none of my friends could see or understand. Most of them barely asked how my trip was. It was hard for them, different. None of them had traveled anywhere. And then I realized…

This was it. My turning point.

I knew I couldn’t keep doing this. The walls of the cage were now transparent. I couldn’t rejoin the rat race, not long term. From this point onward, I knew I had to escape the 9–to-5 grind. From now on I would work towards leaving the US, my career, and the soul-crushing disappointment of living in a city I hated.

Fight hoards of traffic to work at a job, just to get by? If I could even keep the work long term… For the rest of my life? No Way. Not for me. I knew I was made for more.

man sitting on motorbike with backpack on beach

My decision was made. I didn’t want to stay in the film industry anymore. I wanted to leave the US and not go back. There was a whole wide world out there, and I wanted to see it. Sitting in Los Angeles traffic for hours on end is not how I wanted to spend my time. So I started saving every penny I could. I took out the books from the financial course I studied and set about reteaching myself how to save money and live on less.

Traveling teaches you a lot.

Far more than you realize, even while you are in the experience. It changes you both mentally and physically. Traveling is an eye-opening experience, and I strongly believe everyone should travel. It helps you to see other perspectives, to learn, and grow. And with flexible work options like telecommuting, it’s easier than ever these days.

One of the more important lessons I learned while traveling was: that less is more. You don’t need lots of stuff when you’re traveling. You don’t use most of it anyway. The same is true for daily life. Try switching your mindset from “I want that” to “Do I need that?” and you may start to understand.

The End of My Career

In 2011, not long after returning from my trip, a friend recommended me for a great new job. It was for a company called Technicolor in the San Fernando Valley. The pay, benefits, and work/life balance were all very good. We were converting 2d films into 3d films. I was a team lead working on Kung Fu Panda 2. Many of my colleagues were friends I had worked with at other companies. My supervisor, who had also gotten me the job, was one of my best friends. Sadly it didn’t last.

The company closed our division. It was heartbreaking.

Fortunately for me, I have amazing friends. One of them told me he had gotten a job in Singapore and I should join him. 3 days later I had secured a new position in Singapore.

I was just there a few months before visiting my brother. And now, a second brother had joined him.

three brothers facing away from camera toward sea pointing at something

Shortly after the company shut down our operations, I was on a flight.


The three of us lived in a small apartment living different lives and working different jobs for the better part of a year.

Not long after moving to Singapore however, I was fired from my job. It was a bit of a scandal involving the finance department leaking information to my jealous manager who sabotaged my work. This further soured my opinion of the rat race and my film career. I was done. I wasn’t going to play the game anymore. 

For a few months, I didn’t work. I sat on the couch and played games, went out for dinner, traveled, and enjoyed not getting up early for work. I had a tidy savings thanks to investing time in growing my financial literacy! So we brothers carried on as normal.

We traveled nearly every weekend.

In September of 2012, my two brothers joined me. They had tired of the rat race as well. They quit their jobs, we sold all of our stuff and left.

Where too?

Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

We traveled together for nearly a year to any destination we wanted. But that’s another story…

three guys standing on wicked van in underpants cheering in the outback

The Birth of A Legend

In 2013 the three of us were sitting in a cafe in Phnom Phen, Cambodia deciding where to go next. My brother got a message from a friend of his. This friend owned a hostel we had visited many times in Phuket, Thailand. He wanted to sell it to us.

We accepted.

We took on the name and opened a new hostel in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2013. 

Bodega Bangkok was born.

group of friends posing for a photo in front of graffiti wall saying bodega

If you traveled around Southeast Asia from 2013 until 2020, you would have heard of our hostels. Yes, plural.

We expanded to 9 hostels at our peak.

These were some of the best years of my life. Late nights in clubs, parties in the hostel, bartending, traveling, expanding business operations and so much more. I learned more in these years than at any other point in my life.

As our business grew, so did my skillset. I learned how to make sales and upsell. How to manage people more easily. How to hire, train, (and fire) staff. Time management, project management, operational management, and financial management. Customer service, negotiation, strategic planning, marketing and branding, problem-solving, networking, legal compliance, and self-motivation. Even web development, SEO, and content creation were all skills I added to my toolbelt. The list goes on.

I tried and tested many different pieces of business software during this time as well. It was a struggle to find the best business software for a small business when we were trying to use mostly free tools. So I tested and tested until I found what we needed. I was always the techy one of us brothers, so all things digital fell on my shoulders.

Business was great. Until it wasn’t.

A word of advice: identify the software you need, pay for it, and get on with your work. Life is much easier when you are not fighting with your tools! Less struggle = more productivity!

When The Hammer Fell

In Thailand, when covid finally hit, it hit hard.

Tourism stopped.

The country emptied.

We got a call from mom. Dad had cancer and wasn’t doing well. We had to leave.

I got on a flight home with one of my brothers. The other stayed a week longer to manage the fallout from closing locations. He was on the last flight out of Bangkok back to the US.

We all settled back home after sitting through quarantine, and we were able to spend a few months with our father before he passed.

It was the worst time of my life.

I got depressed and started drinking heavily again.

Weeks turned into months and I couldn’t muster much energy to do anything productive.

Covid restrictions started lifting but our business was dead. Someone needed to go back and try to breathe life into it when tourism came back.

One brother left.

My other brother’s fiance was in England with her family waiting for him.

The second brother left.

For the next year, I stayed home with my mom to help her through this difficult time.

As the days passed I started to recover.

I taught myself how to program in C# and Python. I taught myself game design and development using Unity and Unreal Engine.

I dabbled in crypto, automation, and investing again. I started studying everything I could about how to make money online, web development, SEO, affiliate marketing, writing… and blogging as a business (and now AI!). I found my heroes on YouTube, Reddit, various blogs, and Medium. I devoured their content, wrote notes, and took action.

The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. It was how I coped with everything. I quit drinking and started started working out. I found a new motivation and drive: To learn and grow. To become a better version of myself.

By the end of 2022, it was time for me to leave again. My mom was doing much better and I couldn’t stay in the tiny village I grew up in any longer.

My brother in Thailand had started a new hostel chain and wanted me to come help. I agreed, but I wasn’t excited about hospitality again. I felt my life should be heading in a different direction. After studying so much about other professions, it was hard to go back. Make money online, even while sleeping. That’s what I wanted to do, not trade hours of my life for money.

I joined my brother to help him train a new manager, oversee staff, and monitor the business while he was working on another project. I continued to study everything I could about blogging as a business and making money online. This was my way forward. It’s what I wanted to do.

After almost three years of constant study, I started blogging.

The Path Forward

So here we are.

My blog.

I’m working hard every day to ensure this blog is packed full of helpful content. I want to empower others with financial knowledge. How to make money, How to save money, how to escape the 9-to-5 grind. That sort of thing.

I want you to have the opportunity I never did. To achieve financial freedom and not be forced to sit in traffic on your way to a job where you trade hours of your life for money.

I want you to build a successful online business.

In short, I want this blog to teach you: How to Make Money in Your Underpants.

At home. The way you want. Where you are the boss.

Seriously, Thanks For Being Here

I mean that. Thank you.

It means a lot to me that you took time out of your day to read something I wrote.

I hope you enjoy my content and get some value from it.

Please share this with someone who might get something out of it too.

And don’t forget to join my mailing list to receive the latest and greatest in your inbox.

Or read more on my blog here.