“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
—George Bernard Shaw
Ah, the ideals of living the American dream…something says that didn’t involve living in the basement of your parents’ house at the ripe age of 25 years old.
In New Jersey, Matt Anton had lived a life of both academic and athletic success. He attended the most distinguished and esteemed New Jersey school (TCNJ), and he was a letterman of Neptune High School.
Junior Year at TCNJ came around, and Matt’s known world collapsed. He had a GPA of 3.5. His parents informed him the family scholarship fund had hit its ceiling. Loans had been maxed out, and the financial hardship meant he at least needed to take pause from going to school. Matt felt like he had stepped into a newer and darker world. He lost the identity of a talented athlete and a smart student, and he blamed everyone because of the loss. To cope, he partied hard and worked at jobs without promise of betterment. The color of his life took on a darker and more depressing tone, and he started to gain weight. The odds were against him until Dan Anton, his older brother, changed his life with one life-saving phone call.
What’s up, Matt? Want to Make a Site About Video Games?
Dan always loved video games. He wanted to mix his gaming interests with building a new and valuable set of skills. The idea to build a profitable business from the ground up excited Matt, and it gave him a way to adopt a new identity through hard work and perseverance. He turned all his attention away from destroying his liver with excess levels of alcohol and brought that same enthusiasm that he’d had in high school for problem-solving in business.
It took some time learning everyone’s specialty, but Dan had previous experience in the military, so he made a natural leader. Matt found his own hidden talents blossomed in marketing. While he had a zero-dollars budget, he pulled the ace card out of his sleeve—time. He had lots of it, and he spent hours researching the free methods to market yourself. Matt gathered emails, posted on blogs, took an active role in forums, and he spoke with video game sites doing press releases. Without even intending to do so, he built up a network with solid contacts and had web links going back to the site. Matt and his brother Dan Anton started seeing hundreds of people visiting their website per day. This period was a baptism by flame, and because of these new relationships, Dan and Matt ranked #1 for many competitive search engine phrases like video games, mmorpg, and gaming. Over the course of a few years, the brothers invested more than $100,000 and spent thousands of hours on the now unused CharacterPlanet. They drove thousands of unique visitors to the site through a press release from Allakhazam in under a few hours. However, a few problems crippled the site—first it was slow. Second, someone hacked the site, which made it virtually unusable. The Antons had NO shortage of people interested, but the problem was, there’s only so much you can do with the casual gamer demographic who are, on average, 15 years old and on a very limited income. Monetizing that—not easy!
Graduation Day—From the Little Pond into the Big Leagues
Using a metaphor from Dan’s military experience, the Antons soldiered on, navigating the minefield of business, despite losing a good soldier (CharacterPlanet). They soon discovered businesses like doctors, plumbers, hotels, lawyers, and restaurants were all desperate to market their businesses. Over the years, the business world had evolved from traditional marketing to online marketing, and the Antons had unwittingly positioned themselves perfectly to surf the trending wave into the fruitful lands of profit and paradise.
During this period, Dan’s eagle eye for emerging profits saw a new way to slay the man-eating giant of tedious human labor in SEO: a huge problem at the time. He replaced the common way using artificial intelligence, but he also added infrastructure that lowered the cost while ensuring search engine results. Because of Dan’s innovation, bloggers were free from syndicating their content manually.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”—Waldo Ralph Emerson
Return of the Basement: Back on a Supplemental Income
Consulting services are a full-time job, nowadays, but at one point, all Matt had was CharacterPlanet to feed himself, and he needed to eat because the project had turned sour. It became more of project out of passion because he was taking losses on it. Matt continued building up the network of business clients, but he had a crushing college debt of $24,362, so he moved back into his parents’ basement. At the time, Matt talked to Keith Long, a good friend, and he became a “Manny” at New Horizons for those with autism. Life’s jester put Matt in an ironic situation because he didn’t clean, cook or wash clothes at home, but here he was doing it elsewhere. His experience grew, but at first, it was apparent he had zero experience with homemaking tasks.
New Horizons had five grown adults with nonverbal autism at different levels of the spectrum. Matt originally took the job because he needed a paycheck, but he found much more.
The five men, Bubba, Fedorko, Mike-Mike, Henry, and Scotty all taught him about how real love comes when you serve others. How he saw autism, how he saw societal responsibilities, all of it changed after he took the job at New Horizons, and it transformed him into a more loving and caring individual. It’s also the point where Matt started to truly love himself. Those darker emotions of unrealized dreams and pity were slayed when he took his focus off himself, and it made him feel compassion and that he was finally progressing in life. Several larger corporations spoke to Matt about online marketing while he was at New Horizons. Matt couldn’t fight off the tears when waving goodbye to the folks at New Horizons, but he embraced the next stage in his life where he could exercise his commercial talents.
Into the Corporate Landscape: Knowledge Becomes Fruit through Action
When 2010 came around, Matt Anton had a new job as the internet marketing manager for LibertyTravel. This company makes billions of dollars each year and has its headquarters in Ramsey, New Jersey. They needed a total overhaul of the SEO—Matt was just the man to do it. They implemented keywords, description, and unique titles. In addition, LibertyTravel changed their marketing approach with paid advertising and with landing pages that are laser focused. The organic SEO became another major push, which blended both purchases for banner ads and content marketing. Matt oversaw and guided the entire project, and because of his past experience with SEO, LibertyTravel had a positive ROI, and their profits shot through the roof.
During this period, however, Matt Anton longed for the companionship he had with his older brother Dan back in the day. He also realized he had a lot of potential in propelling the success of, not just one, but many different companies. As a result, he talked to Dan, and they started providing consulting and SEO software services to customers through his company called NJ SEO. During this period, the brothers had hundreds of positive reviews and testimonials that expanded their business at an unbelievable rate.
They not only expanded to Atlanta, they also brought their SEO services to Las Vegas with wild success. The years he had spent learning these crucial skills made him into an inspiring success story. Matt believes working at New Horizons was pivotal to his success today because it taught him how to serve others selflessly. It even brought him to being sought out by a Fortune 500 company for his consultation and SEO services. Today, Matt lives with his two lovely daughters Evelyn and Olivia and his beautiful wife Cassandra. It is a poster example of what family and hard work can do to bring good things into your life.
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
—Waldo Ralph Emerson