How to Build Wealth: The Story of How I Made 13,000x ROI on One Business Investment

Ten years ago, before I turned 20 years old, I took my last $75 and went all in on my business idea.

I’d just failed college, and my passion was my only plan.

The little business idea I had was writing for a living, and building my own team of writers.

I wanted to create a passionate team and together, write amazing content for our clients.

We grew over the next ten years through hard work, processes, systems, tech, and even smarter people. We built our own platforms, and created solutions when we didn’t find them.

I never ran ads or did funnels. We grew solely through SEO content marketing.

Fast-forward to fall of 2021…

I sold this business and exited for a 13,000x ROI on my initial investment at 19 years old (my last $75).

I successfully figured out how to build wealth — not just with smart business decisions, but with mindset and habits. ✅

Here’s the story.

serious business owner

How to Build Wealth: I Made 13,000x ROI on ONE Business Investment

Following my gut and growing my own online platform, a.k.a. a real brand (with a website, following, email list, etc.) has never led me wrong in the long run.

In fact, it’s the main reason I was able to build wealth.

But, friends, there IS a way to do it wrong, and there IS a way to do it right.

I can promise you that if you want to build wealth, following your gut and building on your own platform to create your own online brand will pay off.

Trust your gut, and step out in faith as you build your brand the right way – don’t settle for platforms that can throttle your reach and kill your following any time they want to.

I build on my own massive goals and dreams. I see the world in technicolor 🌈  (my phrase for THINK BIG!) and have since the very beginning.

Here’s how I built wealth, in detail:

1. Dream BIG

This is one of the biggest elements that guides my success and how I built wealth. I’m not afraid to dream BIG and go after those dreams.

This concept is inspired by the author, researcher, and speaker Jim Collins, who has extensively studied what makes companies truly great — their traits, their habits, their leadership, and more. Specifically, he wrote two books:

built to last jim collins

Using Jim Collins’ concept of the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), I created a MASSIVE goal for my writing agency, Express Writers, way back in 2011: “Hire the best writers, and together, create the BEST content on the web.”

Now, the definition of the BHAG involves some important factors:

  1. Your goal must be CLEAR.
  2. It must be compelling. It should make you want to run toward it! 🏃‍♀️💨
  3. It rallies people behind it (your team, partners, employees, etc.)
  4. It has an obvious finish line. You know what accomplishing that goal looks like and what will happen.
  5. The goal is energizing. It’s BIG, but it still seems doable and possible.

My massive goal (which also became our mission statement) for EW hit each of these points on the nose. Along with that, reaching for that goal throughout the years automatically made us better.

And a better brand, a better company, will build more wealth for you than one that’s average, and certainly more than one that’s struggling.

By the way, this mission statement still guides our next generation, the buyers that took over this fall!

2. Invest in the Right Places (Most Importantly, in Yourself!)

What if your BEST investment was one in YOURSELF?

What would it look like to invest in your ideas? (For me, I stepped into a $400B industry without knowing it! Investing in myself paid off BIG.)

Investing in yourself might actually be the smartest investment you make.

For example, did you know that investing in stocks and crypto (5-50% return, but VERY risky, and you could lose it all more often than make it big) are more of a risk than building your own brand?

There are so many elements out of your control. Even real estate averages 10% return per year, and you’re dealing with tenants, termites, and more!

But, investing in YOU? Building your skills, building a brand, building a website?

The ROI will be through the roof. Eventually.

Because, here’s the thing…

3. Be Prepared for Low ROI at the Beginning

Be ready for LOW ROI at the beginning of your brand journey.

Example: I’ve put money-making on hold, said no to client projects, so I can build a long-term transformational coaching program I’m staking my claim on and hanging my hat on.

I believe in the promise I’m going to give with this incredible training program. I believe in the live coaches (expert humans) I’m hiring to help. I believe in the transformation I will give my students.

But even for me today, someone who has more resources than the girl ten years ago who had $75 and had just escaped a cult…

Building this new thing, investing everything into it, is still scary.

And right now, it’s not profitable.

But it WILL be.

Remember that new is scary and LOW ROI…

Until you master it.

By the way, you don’t have to go into building your brand blindly.

You can vet your ideas, do market research, validate your offer(s), and figure out whether or not your business idea will work.

Once the research is done and you KNOW your brand is a slam-dunk 🏀, you can confidently go out and invest in it.

Learn exactly what roadmap to follow to build your brand sustainably in my free training.

free webinar

4. Remember Age Is Just a Number

Do you feel like you might be too old to start building wealth? Too young?

Stop. Your age doesn’t matter.

You can start working toward your goals and learn how to build wealth at ANY age. I don’t care if you’re 16 or 65. It’s possible!

Arthur Ashe quote

In my Content Transformation System, we have students of all ages working toward their business dreams.

It’s never too early — or too late — to start.

You can learn how to build wealth in your ’20s, your ’30s, your ’40s, and beyond.

One of my CTS students is even a teenager working alongside her mom to build their digital business skills!

michelle webinar testimonial

And, of course, I was just 19 years old when I made the first moves toward building wealth on my own terms.

I started with nothing…

But I built a pathway out of it.

And you can, too.

5. You CAN Learn How to Build Wealth from Nothing

Starting from nothing?

You’re not alone. I started from nothing and learned how to build wealth along the way… and I ended up selling my successful content business for over $1 million.

If you weren’t born into wealth, building it definitely takes a mindset shift.

Specifically, you’ll need to overcome the negative mindset of lack. You’re probably familiar with what that looks like:

  • “I’ll never become truly wealthy. Only certain people can do that.”
  • “I don’t have the advantages or resources to make this happen.”
  • “My parents were poor. I’ll end up poor, too.”

This is really common for people who grew up with nothing — it’s called a scarcity mindset.

The thing is, you HAVE to break out of this trap if you want to build wealth.

You need to believe in yourself, you need to believe you’ll break out of the poverty/debt cycle, and you need to believe you’re worth it.

Turn those negative thoughts into positive, growth-focused thoughts, like:

  • “I can build wealth if I invest in myself and my skills.”
  • “I wasn’t born wealthy, but I can create a pathway to wealth with smart decisions and strategy.”
  • “My parents were poor, but I can absolutely break that cycle and rise out of it. I will use my negative experiences from growing up without wealth to push me forward.”
  • “I will make money and build wealth over time. I can do this!”

Finally, remember building wealth isn’t necessarily about achieving a high income. (People with huge incomes still can be deeply in debt.) Instead, it’s about:

  1. Managing your finances intelligently
  2. Investing well (in your own brand!)
  3. Understanding you can create your own path to wealth
  4. Believing in yourself and going after your big dreams

Build the Skills You Need to Build Wealth

Learning how to build wealth takes investment, a positive mindset, strategy, smarts, the right expectations…

And skills. 🛠

The question is: Do you want short-term gains?

Or a business that LASTS 10 years and returns thousands of percentages in the long run?

RUN towards an investment in yourself. It’s never been a better time.

I can help. Apply for my personal mentorship and access to my most powerful course yet, The Content Transformation System, where you’ll learn the strategy, skills and systems to building online wealth through a brand YOU own.

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, 6x author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and brand presence that lasts online. At 19 years old, in 2011, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers, which she grew to $5M and sold ten years later. In the 2020s, she's devoted to running The Content Hacker, where she teaches creative entrepreneurs the strategy, skills, and systems they need to build a self-sustaining business, so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.