Picture of Darius Burgan in Cleveland, Ohio during the fall

During high-school

I started with digital marketing in 2010 while I was a videographer for music artists. Using SEO and Google Ads, I grew my videography business into something that paid my bills; however, even though the bills were getting paid, I wasn't satisfied. Sure, hanging out with celebrities and going on tour is fun - but I didn't see a way to achieve my ultimate goal: financial freedom at a relatively young age.

See, I grew up poor and survived primarily on government assistance. You might think that lack of money would make me focus on making more - which it did for a while, but making more money with my limited resources meant I only had one thing to exchange for money - my time.

In 2011, as a 17-year-old kid pushing carts at Walmart for minimum wage, I learned one of the most important things about myself: I'd rather be poor on government assistance and have my time than be middle-class with little time to do anything else with my life.

So I quit.

I finished my last year of high school while doing videography to pay my bills. And in 2012, I graduated high school and officially became an adult.

Starting my first scalable online business

Fast forward a few months and I started my first scalable online business - an eCommerce store. Using my WordPress and digital marketing knowledge, I grew this business into something relatively efficient (for the amount of time needed) and eventually sold it (albeit not for a lot - it wasn't as profitable by the time I sold it).

That business helped teach me more about:

Around the time the business sold, I started understanding financial freedom more. I realized there were different paths I could take to achieve it. I also learned how to avoid “avoid putting all of my eggs in one basket.”

Understanding myself and launching more online businesses

This new insight led me to launch many different businesses while getting a job with one of my skills - digital marketing. The plan was to use the job as my “safety net” to pay bills and use the different businesses to reach financial freedom.

For several years I created (and sold) several businesses - mainly content and service-based businesses that could take advantage of my digital marketing skill set. These businesses were profitable but felt like failures due to not being efficient. They were time intensive to maintain and wouldn't bring in enough revenue to justify the time investment.

This experience taught me that I'm not satisfied with just having a profitable business. I want a profitable business with big potential that's not time-intensive to maintain.

Now that I had a better idea of what kind of businesses were most interesting to me, in 2017, I decided to focus on computer programming - with the end goal being the ability to build a Saas product.

While software takes a lot of time upfront to build, once built, it can run both profitably and become less time-intensive (unless you’re trying to grow it into something big). This sounded exactly like the type of business that is most interesting to me.

So, I spent a year watching hundreds of hours of tutorial videos (I don't recommend this), graduating from Udacity’s “Grow with Google” course, and building small projects with REACT, Node, and Javascript. The more things I created, the more I started to feel comfortable with programming.

A side street to the same destination

Then an opportunity to buy a multi-family home came along. While I was initially hesitant to proceed, owning a multi-family property / being a landlord was surprisingly in line with the type of businesses I like. It takes a lot of time upfront to learn how the systems work and the process of improvement projects/maintenance; but once set up, it’s relatively hands-free. Thankfully I had money saved up from working my day job to take advantage of the opportunity.

For the next few years, I spent most of my time learning how to maintain and improve a property. Thanks to my ability to think like a computer programmer - I started looking at this property similar to how I would build a piece of software.

I asked questions such as:

By looking at a rental property similar to a software project, I was able to make decisions that aligned with my ultimate goal (financial freedom) and required less time for maintenance. This also involved buying another property but that's a story for another time.


Now here we are at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2022.

I completed most of my necessary real estate projects and focused on web development again. I've still been coding throughout my real estate projects to avoid losing the skill. My current goal is to knock out a few projects for practice and create a business around the technologies I feel most comfortable in (HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, & MYSQL).

That's just about all I've got for right now, but I'll update this page as soon as something new or exciting happens. However, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or just want to chat.