Collins Browne


 A Precious Commodity

 

This journey started some years ago. I grew up in an “old family” that had been living in the rolling hills of Virginia since the earliest colonial days. “To be born a Virginian is an introduction in itself,” I was told. Life was good, what some now say was maybe the best time to be alive in this country. I suspect most generations look back with fondness to the “good old days.” There was no internet and what was called a computer looked very much like fancy adding machines that still spat out paper results like a cash register. Cars were so big that they barely fit in the garage. No one ever thought about locking the doors, what for? We knew all our neighbors, their kids, and their kid’s kids by name. Anyone over the age of thirty was a Mr. or Mrs. and it was Yes Sir and No Mam.

Like most people I knew, after many trials and tribulations I was eventually well-educated and followed my ancestors  into the working world.  There were many different jobs and career paths, some very successful, some not so much.

Eventually at the start of the internet era I began to teach myself about computers. I felt there must be a way to make a good living from the coming boom. Unfortunately it was not easily or readily evident to me how that was going to happen for me.

I lived in Southwestern Virginia on a beautiful recreational lake. My first boyhood memories of that lake had been standing at the lake side bottom of the dam as they were building it. My father’s company had the job of clearing the shoreline and the debris out of that same lake as the waters rose. The water would be some 250 feet deep at that spot six years later. There would be significant changes to the area as time marched on. For a long time it was a small community and most of the locals knew each other by sight and reputation.

When I first moved from town to the lake my primary business focus at the time was in various aspects of real estate. In those days the internet had yet to become something that everybody used. If fact few did, real estate was sold out of a big white book published bi-monthly that contained all the property listings. It was closely guarded and only real estate agents had access to them. You could not even find a home for sale on the internet. Now it is hard to find a property advertisement in print, they are almost all on the internet, even on your phone. Technology has changed the way people gather information to make decisions about buying real estate, in fact doing all commerce.

My real estate business included building houses and commercial structures as well as residential sales. I knew most of the people who worked around the lake.  One of them was an excavation company owner that had as varied of interests as I, computers included. When the Soviet Union began to fall apart we saw an opportunity to help them and perhaps profit from an import export business. Those unusual times are a story in themselves that is too long to share here.  The important part is that was when the need for the ability to complete an international transaction in real-time first became apparent. The vast daily currency exchange rates could change the agreed upon prices wildly, 10% -20% overnight.  In time a small technology company was born that invented and patented the process to do international transactions over the internet. What is very common today was totally unheard of then.

As the technology progressed in order to enforce the patents it was necessary for the company to gather evidence that other companies were violating them and needed to pay for licenses. To collect real-time data we had to be located in another country. Internet users are shown different pages depending on their IP location. We chose Montreal, Canada. Montreal had the double advantage of being a location that also used a different language, French. My job was primarily searching the internet for companies using our technology and documenting it. Then explaining the very complicated back-end processes to our litigation teams. Over the years this work took me to literally thousands of websites. Today it is hard to believe but in the beginning there were not really that many companies that did e-commerce across international borders. The market really consisted of large brick and mortar operations that were beginning to delve into expanding their sales via the internet. Almost none were just an internet based business. Selling to customers in other countries was almost impossible, the customs regulations part of it is and was very complicated for the transaction (Thus the need for our patented technology).

For those who do not know this, large companies as a common business practice steal inventions and ideas straight from the patent office. It is public information. The patent owners must then fight them in court to protect their intellectual property. Unfortunately the law is really of the side of the ones who can pay the most to the attorneys. Patent cases costs run into the millions, small companies are at a great disadvantage.  Again the story behind these times is too long to share here. Suffice it to say we did not gain the rewards we once felt sure were to be ours. We had taken a big shot and lost. It was time to start over again.

When we had finished our court battles I moved back to the USA. I chose to live in a small beach community on the coast where my wife’s family was. For me I was going back to my roots in real estate. Unfortunately about that time my wife of many years decided to divorce me. Now I was really starting over from the bottom, broke and hurt. I won’t go into details but  those that have lost everything and gone through it know it can be a dark time. It was a long battle with some real low points.

The one upside was now I had nothing to do but focus on work and recovery. I threw myself into work and begin to learn new skills, a new way to live. I found taking trips really helped my outlook although I really did not have the money to do it.

Fortunately I met a wonderful lady on one of my trips. The big downside was she lived on the other side of the ocean. We were able to take some trips together but talk about the trials of a long distance relationship. Lots of Skype calls and texts was the majority of our contact. Eventually she agreed to become my wife. After jumping through many many governmental hoops and thousands of dollars paid to them for nonsense.  We finally got “legal” permission for her to come live here, temporarily, green card. Her family and friends are still there which means we must got there often. Now the new problem was my real estate business was fine but it is very local. Thus I had to find a way to make a living from something else.

After spending tons of money on courses and products that really did not  teach me what I needed to know. Eventually I found the  answer, learn from a real expert. That is not to say I personally know all the answers, but I did find the best of the best to learn from.

Of course now I am fulfilling my dream of what used to be the ever so elusive ability to make an internet based income consistently. I now am able to work from anywhere in the world that has good internet service.

I will be sharing posts on my progress which is ongoing and the tipping point ideas I discover along the way. Some of those will be product reviews, lists of things you might need to do, how to posts, and of course some personal posts.

A Real Income Online

Making a real income online is possible and a great way to retire with security. Too many reach the retirement age with a pension that disappeared or now just does not buy what it was supposed to. Many like me just want a new career that satisfies their desire to help others.

It is Never Too Late to Start the Journey!!

Please share any ideas or comments you might have!

 

 

Thanks and Enjoy,

M. Collins Browne