How the Internet Keeps the Roof over My Head

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Spring 2010 was a dark time for me. I was 57 years old and lost my job. This was Ireland after the crash of 2008 and I had enough nous to realize that an over-educated Englishman had zero chance of finding a paid job.

My unemployment benefit was never going to pay my mortgage even, let alone keep the lights and heating on. I did get a fair-sized redundancy payment, which softened the blow slightly.

After the Axe

I lashed out €2,000 ($2,600) on installing broadband; I had lived in the house for three years with no Internet connection, other than dial-up. I have no access to DSL or cable, and never will have. (I don’t even have mains water, gas or sewage, so there is no chance of ever getting mainstream broadband.) The only way I could get Internet access was to install a satellite system, hence the enormous cost.

I justified the cost because I knew that working online was the only way I was ever going to earn a living again.

I Write – I Learn

I analyzed my skill-set and browsed for ways to earn a living. I am a teacher, so I can talk, teach and write.

I came across a site called and decided to write articles there. The site allows you to earn 75% of the money from ads that are embedded in your articles. That sounded very fair. The forum is full of exceptionally friendly and helpful people and I learnt a lot.

I responded to an offer on the InfoBarrel forum for writers to write for cash. The member was willing to pay a very fair rate for articles. I wrote my guts out and earned enough to cover the bills for the first time in two years.

5 Currencies

I was inspired by a young guy, Andrew Walton, to join a group of writers who were working together on a site called (The site no longer exists.)

The philosophy behind the site was that there are five currencies: Time, Knowledge, Reputation, Contacts and Money. We all have a new Time allowance each day and we need to use it to build our Knowledge, Reputation and Contacts. In time those three will lead to Money earning opportunities, automatically.

I have found that the 5 Currencies concept works for me, though the group of writers did not work out and I have moved on to other things.

Give and Thou Shalt Receive

I set up a few websites that needed daily updates. One was about gardening, which I enjoy, the other two were very broad and designed to have a wide appeal, one to DIYers and the other to women between 30 and 70 years of age. I chose the latter two sites based on what I saw as gaps in the market.

I found a site where I could find guest posts for my sites. At that time, many of the articles I was offered there were seriously flawed and I reported these to Ann Smarty, the site’s owner. To my amazement she offered me a paid job as a moderator at That was/is almost a proper job, with a regular monthly wage coming in.

This is a great example of the “Give and thou shalt Receive” principle that is found everywhere.  I have met some great people, both writers and other moderators, and have learned a lot from them all. The mods are all in different time zones, but it really feels like a team effort with email discussions all day.

Multiple Income Streams

I have learned to diversify my income sources. That way, if one stream dries up I can still pay the mortgage. I write articles that give me a regular income each month at InfoBarrel, I write articles for immediate payment and I have a paying job at

Another Hands-Off Idea

I had a “big idea” when I was teaching, when I worked out why we cannot remember what we learnt when we are in an exam. I realized that this was a new idea and that it could benefit almost everyone in one way or another. When I was teaching I made sure my students knew how to get around the mental blocks that everyone has when they are under pressure. I am no longer teaching, but still want to pass on that knowledge to help as many people as possible, so I decided to put my ideas down in an ebook about how memory works called Exam Grade Booster.

Phil Turner Book

The Next Big Idea

I sold my old websites so I could concentrate on a new venture,, where I share my ideas about the 5 Currencies. I also help people find a self-employment niche in which they can make a living using the 5 Currencies principles.

The site is the culmination of my life experiences, as a teacher and as a guy who lost his job and had to start all over again. I believe it is important for each person to  pass on all their knowledge for their life to have meaning. This site allows me to do that and to help people at the same time.

The Future

The Internet has allowed me to earn a living and to keep my house. I still work online for at least twelve hours every day at my different projects, but my income is reasonably secure. I even hired an accountant last week to sort out the tax payments on all my income.

I intend to write a whole series of ebooks on various aspects of the 5 Currencies and self-employment opportunities because my head is bursting with ideas again…

10 thoughts on “How the Internet Keeps the Roof over My Head”

  1. Thanks guys. I found writing it had a cathartic effect and helped me to crystallise my ideas of where I am going from here. I have the next few months of my journey mapped out, now I just need 28 hour days.
    @Robert Kraus – I hope the ebook helps your daughter. It has a simple, but very effective strategy for helping anyone in an exam situation. It is one of the things I am most proud of in my life.

  2. Wonderfully inspiring story. In a practical sense, Phil provides an example of how he has walked the path, successfully, to provide a germination of thought on the strategy that one might formulate for themselves. On the inspiring side, this is a story of someone who realizes their own self-worth and potential and that that is within the person, not the title or label of a “paid job.” Thank you, Phil, for sharing. And, thank you, Min MIn, for publishing.

  3. Excellent article, I especially like the eBook you mentioned. I have a daughter who has problems taking tests and I’m convinced it indeed is the pressure she’s feeling when sitting there looking at the questions. I will be making a purchase right after I finish this reply.

  4. I feel lucky I have you, Phil. That’s all I have to say :)

    Oh not all: I wish those personal mods’ stories were published on MBG blog as well. Our users need to know their heroes :)

  5. What an inspiring story Phil! Thank you for sharing:)

    I know all too well what it is like finding yourself with the loss of employment and a steady income. Scary times!

    I too find writing cathartic. And chatting online :D

  6. This story is similar to mine in so many ways that it really resonated with me. I’ve heard of this site before, but I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. Now I’m not sure why; I’m going to re-visit it soon!

    Thanks for sharing your story, Phil.


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