👋 Hey there! I’m Tony Florida
For 7 years of my life, I worked as a software engineer, most recently at a hedge fund in Baltimore. I eventually grew to hate sitting at my desk all day, so I quit my job.
Since a sophomore at Loyola University Maryland, I pursued many software-related side hustles. I haven’t been successful enough to make a living, but I refuse to stop trying until I achieve my goal.
Here’s how I got to where I am today.
📱 There’s an App for That
My desire for entrepreneurship started when my digital logic professor told us about his friend who gets a big, fat check from Apple every month for his iPhone app sales. Immediately, I was hooked and determined to make an app. Just a few months later, I went on to publish my first app to the app store.
As I learned more about programming at college, I released more apps to both the Apple and Android app stores. Some had moderate success, while others completely flopped.
From just the Apple Apple Store alone, I made over $6,000 in passive income since 2010.
In early 2019, I left the Apple developer program to focus on other entrepreneurial pursuits. In turn, my apps have since been removed from the app store.
Although that’s the case, you can still check out my repertoire of apps on another one of my websites, flooreeda.com (that’s how you pronounce my last name, btw).
🎢 The Job Hopping Roller Coaster
Six weeks after I left my aerospace job of 3 years to develop mobile apps for a dining service company, I was fired. My boss told me that I should go back to aerospace because I didn’t have the skills to develop mobile apps. I was devastated.
But like most horrible times in life, there’s always a happy ending. I ended up finding my most recent job at the most wonderful company I could have ever imagined.
The hedge fund that I worked at offered benefits such as a 9% 401(k) match, 7% profit share, annual bonuses, brand new on-site gym with free fitness classes, regular free happy hours, free monthly lunches. I could go on.
By most peoples’ standards of success, I had it all—a masters degree from Hopkins, an outstanding salary, and a great company with great benefits. But after a few years, the excitement wore off. I was no longer jumping out of bed every morning excited to go to work.
Why? Well, I blame podcasts.
🎧 Podcasts Changed My Life
With a 45 minute commute to work each way, I couldn’t bear to listen to the ad-ridden radio anymore. This is when I stumbled upon podcasts. Thanks to podcasts, my commute went from something I dreaded to a favorite part of my day.
From the likes of Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, and Tim Ferriss, I was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship. These podcasters gave me the foundation and inspiration I needed to go from a hobbyist making a few apps on the side to an aspiring entrepreneur learning how to make his own business.
Naturally, I began craving more information and started listening to audiobooks. The first audiobook I ever listened to was The 4-Hour Workweek. This book really lit the fire under my ass to create a valuable, profitable business so I could escape the 9-5 grind.
Consequently, I had a lightbulb moment, and started mining diamond prices.
💎 A Diamond in the Rough
I learned a lot about diamonds when looking for an engagement ring for my ex-fiancée (we ended up not getting married). More importantly, I learned that the price of diamonds change over time. This sparked my next side hustle, The Diamond App, a diamond price tracker and diamond search engine.
The Diamond App was a huge undertaking for me. I spent the vast majority of my free time outside of work building up the website and acquiring affiliates. I was operating under the advice of Pat Flynn:
Work hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later.
My hard work paid off in early 2016 when I received my first $375 commission for selling a diamond engagement ring through my website.
My moderate success led me to be featured on Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle School podcast and my first-ever podcast interview on the Hustle to Freedom Podcast. Additionally, I’ve been interviewed by Starter Story about starting and maintaining a business from scratch.
Maybe coolest of all, I have a two-page spread in a hardcover book 100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job that’s available everywhere books are sold.
This side hustle made me another $6,000+ during its 3 years of operation. However, I realized that although I was providing value to others by helping them get a good deal on their diamond rings, this wasn’t fulfilling enough for me.
Consequently, I shut down this website in order to focus my efforts on my YouTube channels and blogs.
Update: I resurrected The Diamond App in November 2020… check it out!
🎥 Tony Teaches Tech
Fueled by a heavy entrepreneurial drive and a desire to see the world, I quit my job in August 2018 to travel abroad and daily vlog on my first YouTube channel (Tony Florida). After about a year of doing this, I noticed that some of the most viewed and well-received were a handful of tech/finance topics such as porting your phone number to Google Voice and reviewing my investment performance.
Realizing this, I decided to create a channel dedicated to tech tutorials with a focus on websites (Tony Teaches Tech) and a channel dedicated to my financial decisions (Thrifty Tony). I invite you to join me on each channel.
My goal for Tony Teaches Tech was to release a multiple tech tutorials every single week, and so far I held true to that.
🤓 Fun Side Projects
In addition to my YouTube channels and diamond price tracking website, I have created a few other projects over the past few years.
- Oitis: a free WordPress website detector
- Micro Domains: a short domain name search engine
- videoflo: a collection of Python scripts to help automate my YouTube video production workflow
🤝 My Promise to You
Since quitting my software engineering job, I realized that technology is an area of expertise that I can teach others.
I promise to teach you everything I know about creating a website. From website hosting and domain names to SSL certificates and programming, I am highly motivated to help you build your online presence. Whether that’s a personal blog, website for your business, or ecommerce platform, I’ll teach you the tech to make it a reality.
To date, I have written 110 blog posts on my website and have published 318 videos on my YouTube channel.
So stick around, come back soon, and thanks for stopping by! Feel free to reach out to me here with any questions.
– Tony Florida