The traditional method of education looks something like this – finish high school, go to university, and get a good job.

Well, one of our elite students, Jack, bypassed all that. And started down the path of developing his digital skills, his website skills, and his buying websites for passive income skills.

Jack finished high school; but instead of going to university (like most of his friends did), he studied the digital skills that we teach to create his own digital agency in Adelaide. He now works with his dad Daryl and mum Sally to generate different methods of online income streams for their business.

Jack’s been able to use this digital knowledge to build websites for local businesses while buying websites for passive income. He has also harnessed the power of networking – creating joint ventures with other elite students, and building profitable relationships with other businesses in his community. That’s pretty impressive for any business owner, but the exciting thing is Jack’s only just getting started at the age of 22.

We’re excited to share Jack’s story today, because we think it’s pretty inspiring to see what’s possible if you’re looking to work from home with your own online business.

CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW to hear how Jack studied digital skills to bypass university and make money online from home

Bypassing University to Buying Websites For Passive Income

Matt Raad:      Today, I’m with Jack Smart, one of our Ultimate Champion Cup winners, and elite student graduates. Jack is on our eBusiness Institute program with his dad, Daryl.

Jack learnt digital marketing skills to make money online from home
Jack is one of our youngest graduate award winners

Jack, do you want to start out by explaining when did you actually start with us? It was quite an interesting story, a little bit different than most of our clients. You’re slightly younger than most of our clients. So how old were you when you started with us?

Jack:                We started learning our digital skills with eBusiness Institute about six years ago. I was 16, just going into grade 11 at high school.

Matt:               So, you’ve been with us all that time. Over those six years, besides studying with us, what have you been doing? Where have you taken this?

Jack:                Outside of studying, we’ve been building up a digital agency in Adelaide. We’ve based our business on the principles that Matt and Liz Raad teach, and that’s been going really well. It’s now my full-time job. I’m 22 years old, and self-employed.

Matt:               Not bad! So obviously, you said you were thinking of going to university, but instead you’ve run with your new digital knowledge and skills.

Jack:                Yes, if this hadn’t come along, I would have gone to university. But when I saw the opportunities available in building an online business, I decided to work with Matt and Liz for a while instead of going to uni, and it’s worked out pretty well.

Creating passive income online from websites
Jack Smart speaking at an eBusiness Institute elite training event

Matt:               Do you have any friends your age that are in the digital space, doing what you’re doing? Do they know or understand what you’re doing?

Jack:                They understand what I do. But there’s no one my age near me that’s doing the same thing, as far as I know.

Matt:               Yes, so most of your friends have gone the traditional way, doing the university thing.

Jack:                Yes, or apprenticeships, or jobs straight out of high school.

Matt:               Awesome, so for you it’s been a very different path. What we should mention too, is that Jack, his dad (Daryl), and mum (Sally) live down in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

Jack:                Yes, it’s a very nice part of the world.

Matt:               So, now your full-time career is running your digital agency. What else are you doing in the online space?

Jack:                Outside of running the agency, we’re building up a portfolio of online assets. This is like building online real estate. We’re buying websites that are already making money, and we’re improving (renovating) them.

Learning the Power of Joint Ventures to Make Extra Income Online

Jack first start making money online with his dad Daryl

Matt:               And what we’re also seeing lately, is you’re doing full-on joint business ventures with fellow Champions, who are graduates of ours. That must be quite a unique experience for you as well. Something you probably wouldn’t have learned at uni.

Jack:                I definitely didn’t see that coming! But I’ve been able to work with some amazing, wonderful people, who we met through Matt and Liz Raad. I’ve been able to take it that one step further and just really powerhouse our results.

Matt:               That’s great. So, you’re building your online assets. Plus, you’re buying, selling and renovating websites to increase your monthly cash flow. And you’re building websites for local businesses through your digital agency. So, you’re basically doing three main strategies.

Now, with building websites for local businesses in the Adelaide area (in the beautiful Adelaide Hills), I presume you’re working with some wineries in that region?

Jack:                Yes, we’re getting there! And we’re been able to create these online assets that bring in monthly income.

Using Directories to Generate an Extra Stream of Income

Matt:               Perfect. Now, through coaching Jack through our elite student program, I’ve noticed that he’s very good at building what we call “directory websites”. And you had a big win down there in Adelaide in this space. Can you explain what that was?

Jack:                Yes, so one of the first websites we built in our area was an online directory for a local ecommerce association. For that, we put together a website that advertised about 80 businesses in the Adelaide Hills area.

Matt:               Great, this is a nice way for you to get established in your local area. It gives you the opportunity to talk to these local businesses, and help them out in the tourism industry.

Jack:                Yes, it’s allowed us to get a foot in the door and talk to all those businesses. It’s been an incredible experience, and we never saw that coming.

Matt:               You did such an awesome job on that website, well done!

eBusiness Institute student is making passive income by buying websites

Now, another site you built that I absolutely love was for Camper Trailer Hire, and this is a really impressive site. Jack’s very good at working with a particular WordPress theme we call “Divi”. He builds very visually, attractive-looking websites that convert really well. So I’m very proud of you for mastering that one.

Jack:                Yes, the business we built that for has just taken off. It’s going really, really well for him. He’s a very happy customer!

Matt:               This is the amazing thing, is that you’re helping all these business owners and local people in your area get out there. Because, this particular site’s ranking Australia-wide now, isn’t it?

Jack:                Yes, it’s ranking mainly in South Australia, but we’ve also got inquiries from Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Matt:               Awesome! That’s really well done.

Using Digital Skills to Learn How to Make Money Online

No Matter What Your Age or Background, You can Learn the Digital Skills Needed to Make Good Money Online

So, what would you say to someone who is younger and thinking about starting out? Is this an industry that you enjoy, and would you recommend it? And do you see it as a big advantage, being a young person getting into this space?

Jack:                One of the big things I’d have to say is that there’s a perception of just because I’m younger, I’ve got a lot of technical experience. I used computers all the time with school, but building websites was very new to me.

I would say that for anyone who’s looking for ways to make more money online, or looking for more work from home opportunities; there’s actually a lot you can do in the online space, and Matt and Liz Raad are very good mentors.

Matt:               Oh, thank you Jack. You guys rock! But it’s wonderful to see that you guys are doing this as a family now. Your dad (Daryl) still works full-time, but he’s transitioning out of that into working from home. But for now, Jack basically runs the show, and is out there working with clients and building the digital agency. What an amazing experience, and thank you so much for sharing.

Jack learned how to make some extra money from home with just a PC and the internet

If you’re looking to re-skill into digital, or you have kids that are looking for other study options outside of university, a great way to find out more is to attend our online masterclass on renovating and buying websites for passive income. We share examples of websites our students have bought, how much they’ve made from them, and the multiple methods of making money online, just like Jack has done since studying with us.


Matt Raad
Matt Raad

Matt Raad is a website investor, Angel Investor and leading educator on Digital Asset Investments, and is recognised as the Australian expert in buying, renovating and selling profitable websites and businesses. Find him on Facebook, LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.