The Swedish American Dream is Not Dead

If you look beyond the American economy, it’s good to know that the American Dream still exists around the world.

The American Dream, characterized as simply the belief that “each generation should have it better than the last”, inspires men and women of all ages from the four corners of the globe to take action and change their fortunes.

How do they do this?

By working to add value to the world.

Today, our American Dream success story comes from the Great White North of Scandinavia.

It’s the story of a young man I met this summer in Lithuania. Daniel Westman, is turning his passions into a business by solving problems.

Craig Ballantyne: Dan, tell us about yourself and where you live. When you showed me where it was on the map, I was impressed. It’s WAY up there.

Daniel Westman: I live in Umeå, northern Sweden, where I’m trying to spend as little time as possible finishing up my university degree in business development, and as much time as possible on building my international business and my independence.

I want to be in control of how I spend my time, whom I spend it with and where I spend it, and I believe a web business truly is the best medium through which you can achieve this.

Craig Ballantyne: Dan, I was really impressed by all the students at our camp in Lithuania this summer, especially by those like yourself who traveled thousands of miles on a student budget just to network and learn. How long have you been trying to build a web-based business?

Daniel Westman: I’ve been in university for almost four years, and during all these years I’ve been looking for ways to “get rich quick” online, thinking that if I could just find out “the secret” I would succeed.

The last year or so I’ve realized that there is no secret sauce, that there’s just a proven step-by-step system that you need to follow to succeed, a system which made people wealthy even before the Internet was invented.

I’ve been on a personal quest for freedom the last few years and that’s how I found Internet Independence a few months ago after a recommendation by Simon Black over at

He recommended you for your actionable advice and I quickly realized what a gold mine Internet Independence is. In between your advice and SEO advice from your friend Rick Porter I don’t need anything else to build my web business.

I’m following your step-by-step system on how to earn $100K in 12 months, and I’m excited to see where I’ll be in 8-10 months.

Craig Ballantyne: Thanks, I really appreciate it. So what action have you taken?

Daniel Westman: Here’s the personal project I’m working on, an online video course on photo restoration.

The site averages ~20 visitors per day, so I’m surprised to having made 9 sales from organic traffic since I started in August.

Most of those who have purchased the course so far seem to be +50 years, which has forced me to re-adjust my customer avatar a bit, and also how I think about creating the tutorials.

When I hit #1 for the main keyword ‘photo restoration’ that will bring over
1000 visitors per day from that keyword alone, so within 12 months I believe the site can generate at least a few thousand dollars per month at the goal price of $39.95 + upsell.

Craig Ballantyne: Excellent, really like your positive attitude. What made you choose your niche?

Daniel Westman: I guess I chose the niche because it’s something I’m really good at, and it’s one of the few activities (photo editing and manipulation in
general) where I can get lost in the “flow” for hours.

The deciding factor though was that lots of people were searching for the term in Google but all photo restoration services looked like they were stuck in the 90’s and were really expensive, so I jumped at the opportunity.

I’ve noticed though that it’s one thing to restore photos for fun and a whole other matter to turn it into a business and try to teach others to restore photos.

Craig Ballantyne: And so how long have you been at it?

Daniel Westman:

1) I registered the domain in the middle of May

2) Opened my Clickbank account July 22

3) made my first sale August 8.

So around three months from domain registration to my first sale. The product creation part has taken too long.

But I’ve focused on all the wrong things (up until before the camp).

For example in June I thought it was a great idea to dip my toes into outsourcing so I hired someone to write 10 reviews of various photo scanners that I thought I could include Amazon affiliate links in to create another revenue stream.

I still haven’t published the majority of those reviews and I really should have focused on getting the main product finished instead.

Craig Ballantyne: Tell us about your first sale. What did that mean to you?

Daniel Westman: Wow, the first sale. It felt so awesome that someone actually were willing to part with their money for something that I had created.

It felt awesome as well when I got my first positive testimonial and feedback from customers, so I knew they valued the product.

The first time Matt Smith and I talked I mentioned that I had earned like $20 total online the prior 12 months, so you could say I’ve increased my online income 9x so far this year.

Last week I had a day with three sales. Still feels a bit unreal.

Craig Ballantyne: Dan, congratulations, and keep up the great work.

Now I’d like to open it up to Internet Independence readers.

What did YOU feel like when you made your FIRST sale online?

Tell me how amazing it felt and what it inspired you to do.

Just drop me a note here in the comments section:


By the way, this includes affiliate sales too.

And if you haven’t made your first sale yet, let me know what it would mean to you.

The American Dream is NOT dead,

Craig Ballantyne

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt