My life has changed a lot in the past 10 years.
I used to be obsessed with dancing. It seems like practically overnight I became a professional dancer thanks to God’s miracles and an open audition for T-Pain. When I was chosen, I thought I was set -- but life had different plans.
Everything I’ve learned about dance, business, and how to make it as a young kid in this crazy world, I learned in a small town called Dubuque, Iowa. If you're someone who’s ever been bullied, who lives in an area that seems to have no connections, or simply aspires to live an uncommon life, I think my story will really resonate with you.
If You’re Here For the Basics…
I own 2 companies -- one most people understand and the other usually takes some explaining. Let me start with the easy one.
I have a 15 person marketing agency based in Dubuque, Iowa. So… what is a marketing agency? In short, it is a business that provides marketing services for big companies. We create paid ads (a skill that I’m fairly good at by the way) for million and multi-million dollar businesses.
And then there's my other job, A.K.A my modern day superpower -- running ads online. I’ve developed my ability to run ads on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Google to such a point that I’ve made over 100,000 a month in revenue from ads alone. Now, before you can fully understand what I do, you need to understand what a paid ad is first.
By creating ads, you are essentially playing matchmaker. You come across a buyer's needs and find them a product that meets their demands. I sell a lot of my own products, other companies products as an affiliate, and though I don’t do it anymore, drop shipping is another business model that I have used. I manage dozens of blogs in all different types of niches that I’m running ads for and in return, they earn me profit.
What’s crazy is that -- for those of you who know me as El Tiro, the dancer -- my YouTube channel was my first discovery of ecommerce and how to build a business online. But how did I get from there to where I am today? What about the failure, stress, struggles, and challenges?
If you’re here for my story…
It all started when I uploaded my very first YouTube video teaching people how to dance at the age of 21. Around the same time, I read a book called The 4-Hour Work Week. This book planted an idea in my head that I could create a business online and work full time from it. I always wanted to be different and being able to break free from the 9-5 work day began to look like a reality.
Now, you would think that touring with T-Pain, which happened after I started posting videos, would help excel my career into this massive catapult -- but it did not. It was actually a towering reality check.
T-Pain gave me an opportunity that I believe I didn’t deserve. I had only been dancing for 2 years and decided to take a shot at his open call audition. He called it T-Pain’s Blood, Sweat, and Dance Contest and promised that one of the winners would get to go on a paid world tour with him. He ended up graciously taking the top 10, one of those dancers being me, and another being the icon Willdabeast. I was honestly just excited to have made it, let alone thrilled to watch Willdabeast (who I’d known before the tour) rise to be the mecca of dance.
However, while we were on tour I quickly realized that it wasn't for me.
I first started dancing as a way to distract me from drinking in college. My dad is an immigrant from Mexico and my mom didn’t grow up with much. Naturally, they saved all that they could in order to pay for my college tuition. Like most kids, I partied a lot in the first semester of college and it became apparent to me how much of a waste drinking was and how disrespectful it was to my parents.
There were a few moments while I was on tour with T-Pain that really influenced me -- one was learning that he never went to college. T-Pain had always been quite the entrepreneur. He put auto-tune back on the map, was an actor, and is an all around multi talented creator.
The first time I went over to his house with all the other dancers was for a barbecue that he was hosting. When I got there it was insane. He had pimped out vehicles, spinning rims, and such an abundance of success and wealth that really inspired me. I was constantly watching him release products, or songs in his case, that allowed me to see how he could make millions in minutes.
After the tour ended, I didn't want to go to LA -- despite everyone in the entertainment industry telling me that I had to go there if I ever wanted to make it. What I decided to do instead was take my experience and try to go online. And well… it was awful.
Upon graduation I attempted to get an entry level marketing job with no success. I had between 5 and 10 thousand subscribers on YouTube but barely anybody cared about dancing and absolutely no one cared about a social media following in Dubuque, Iowa -- especially back in 2011.
Fast forward to six months post graduation without a job. I had no choice other than to accept a position at a call center working 9 to 5 for $27,000 a year. While things were tight, I’m glad it happened. It’s one of my most humbling stories that I really enjoy sharing. That being said, people see me now and think that I’m completely unrelatable to them. And while selling and making millions online is something foreign I never thought I’d be doing, what I did to get out of that call center is understandable by everyone.
I started to slowly scale my YouTube presence by clocking out at 3 p.m., going home, and working on my channel until 8 that night. It took me two years to make my first dollar online. Most people would have quit after 6 months of no revenue, but I knew that the path I was on would be a learning experience and I saw light at the end of the tunnel.
I attribute my determination to one certain trait that I has been ingrained in me by my parents -- and it might be a Mexican culture thing -- but it is to always at least be putting in effort. I’m always working, always “in the dirt”, always finding something to do.
A subscriber of mine actually provided me with my first ever “product” idea by commenting something along the lines of ‘hey Adrian, you should make comprehensive premium dance tutorials’. So, I did. These tutorials are now some of the most downloaded videos on how to dance that you can find on the internet. After three months of them being live, I had my first $1,000.
The beginning of my superhero story really starts here. I was initially only selling those tutorials to my subscribers, but I wanted to figure out how to reach a larger audience other than people who already knew me. That's when I started running ads on Google and YouTube.
At first, I failed miserably. I didn’t have a lot of money to begin with, let alone money to pay for an ad. I was spending about $100 a month on ads and it took around a year to get my first sale. You can do the math -- I probably paid $1,500 to promote a $25 product, but that didn't matter to me. That sale was proof of the concept and proof that my hard work was paying off.
Ads are truly magic. Creating organic content and waiting for the traffic to come to you can be done, but what if you could deliver a valuable resource to someone who's looking for your exact product at this exact moment? That is a superpower.
At age 25 I took a leap of faith and turned my online side hustles into my full-time job. My salary at the marketing agency where I was working came out to be around $55,000 a year. I made a conservative choice to wait until my side hustle income was equal to my agency income before leaving the company. Since then, I’ve never looked back and I guess you can say that the rest is history.
My life is exponentially better. I can help others, I have taken control of my life, and I have full accountability. I never thought that I would make six figures but man, it’s been a fun ride. I almost feel like a mad scientist in the way that I can sell other people's products as well as my own and make a living off of it. I’ve sold for small companies like Neurohacker, and for big sharks like LadyBoss -- whose product I sold over one million dollars of. For more on my affiliate marketing journey, check out my How I Made $33,440 In One Day video.
I want you to walk away knowing that if you have the right skill set, in my case creating ads, you can do virtually anything. I was taught that “if you know how to sell you’ll always have a job”, but I think it should be “if you know how to sell online you’ll never need one.”
I hope my story resonates with you and reminds you that you can do anything I can do, from anywhere in the world. All you need is a wifi connection.
Peace and God bless.
I make new content every single week, so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube and follow my Instagram @brambilabong and TikTok at @AdrianBrambila. I also have tons of resources and courses on my website that you won’t want to miss. Head over to www.adrianbrambila.com to learn more about what I do and how I live a financially free life.