HI.

MY NAME IS MARC.

For those that are brave enough, there are details about my story below. In a nutshell, I’ve found a viable option for anyone looking to stay at home to work – yet still feel a sense of accomplishment and contribution. Part of that contribution lies in assisting those that find this website.

There just might be something in this for you…

HI.

MY NAME IS MARC.

For those that are brave enough, there are details about my story below. In a nutshell, I’ve found a viable option for anyone looking to stay at home to work – yet still feel a sense of accomplishment and contribution. Part of that contribution lies in assisting those that find this website.

There just might be something in this for you…

It’s a damn fool that believes his or her “About Me” page is going to get a ton of eyes on it! Much less a ton of eyes that will read the whole thing from start to finish, right? I’m just like anyone else in the world – meaning that, to ME, my own story is fascinating! I mean, that’s how we human beings are wired, is it not? But would my story be fascinating to anyone else? Maybe and maybe mot.

I am however aware enough to realize that the only way to hold anyone’s attention when telling a story is to try to offer something of value to that person; something that THEY will find interesting.

So, as I convey my “heroic” tale :), I sincerely hope I am able to do just that – offer you something that might be valuable on your own journey. If nothing else, maybe just a form of “digital friendship“, perhaps?

But what would that nugget of value be? What’s in MY story that could be valuable to you?

So who is Marc Croteau?

That depends on who asks the question.

It also depends on who answers it!
(Hey, who said the answer had to come directly from MY point of view?!)

Here is the answer I’d give you, the reader.

First of all, I am someone that will be upfront and honest with anyone that reads my “About Me” page – or any page on this website for that matter!

Beyond that, I am a stay-at-home dad that has found a way to work at home in a financially feasible way. Basically, I’m just a dude that, after a crap ton of trial and error, has finally found a work at home system where I not only make plenty of money but, more importantly, am surrounded by others of like mind, a community of folks that looks out for one another in a non-competitive environment where, the success of one is truly the success of all the others.

NOTE: I am not particularly excited to talk very much about what it is that I do just yet. There will be plenty of time to get into this later, and I will. If you are truly interested, you can check it out. Also, if you don’t mind my saying so, I can’t effing stand ” salesy” write ups (is ‘salesy‘ even a word?) and at the end of the day, I’d rather be seen as someone that provided you with useful information and that you find trustworthy than someone that tried to sell you something.

Plus, after stubbing my toe hundreds of times, I finally realized that those who are a fit and truly want to know more about what it is that I do will find their way to the information. Those that aren’t, won’t. Period. Either way, it’s no skin off my nose!

Who ELSE is Marc Croteau?

Here comes the biographical crap that must appear on ALL ‘About Me‘ pages! I promise I will do my best to keep it interesting (and brief), but try not to judge too harshly if I fail!

Childhood, the beach, and awesome parents

I was born in Dover, NH. A town quite close to the seacoast – just a few minutes drive to the nearest salt water in fact! This proximity to the beach is something that I truly loved. As a kid, I spent a LOT of time on the beach. In fact, I spent as much time there as I could, especially in the autumn, winter and spring seasons when I would often be accompanied by only maybe 15 other people on a mile long stretch of beach (as opposed to thousands in the summer time).

My parents were excellent folks; truly “salt of the earth” type people. As true as that was though, my childhood was ANYTHING BUT easy. My mom was a wonderful, but extremely physically ill woman, who herself came from a pretty rough background. My dad was, and to this day IS, the hardest working SOB you will EVER meet; truly an old school New England Yankee boy through and through.

It’s a little known fact but, I am pretty sure that my dad single handedly invented the New England accent! He hasn’t pronounced an “r” since he accidentally did so as an infant!

Anyway…

My mom’s unremitting illness(es) along with her own difficult upbringing lead to patterns of extreme overprotectiveness in her approach at motherhood. My dad’s workaholism and tendency to really enjoy being left alone, lead to a pretty much non-existent relationship between the two of us when I was growing up – we almost NEVER saw each other or did much of anything together.

I was the kid that wasn’t allowed to do a whole lot of anything. In order to compensate for all of this, I turned out to be a bit of a rebel as a kid. I got myself into a fair amount of of trouble. Nothing too serious – but serious enough for anyone in their pre-teen and teenage years, for sure. And certainly more than enough for my mom to deal with.

It’s funny, looking back on all of this now I realize that the vast majority of my behavior and the trouble that I got into was really just me trying to get noticed and recognized both by a dad that I never saw as well as by EACH parent for the GOOD things that I was capable of (and occasionally did) After all, I wasn’t JUST a trouble maker! I had many good qualities too. Hindsight is funny like that.

Bodybuilding and what it taught me

In fact, pretty much without intending to, I fostered the image and reputation of being sort of a a black sheep in my family. I never entirely had a super clear sense of direction, or anyone that I truly looked up to for that matter. That is until I “met” Arnold Schwarzenneger and discovered bodybuilding.

For quite a while, bodybuilding had been an interest. In fact, I could trace it back to first and second grades when I would religiously watch “The Incredible Hulk” television show with Lou Ferrigno. But it wasn’t until freshmen year in high school that my passion for it truly took hold. I met a friend at the time that was equally enthralled and, together we worked out as much as humanly possible in my parent’s basement (my dad, too, was into bodybuilding and working out and he bought a really nice set of weights and equipment for our basement).

Long story short, after high school I wound up hooking up with a trainer and did three bodybuilding shows. It was EXTREMELY hard work – not just in the gym, but out of it as well! But I loved it and, although I never did better than second place in any competition I entered, the sport taught me a LOT about dedication, discipline and the use of the mind.

I am extremely grateful for the bodybuilding years and still live much of that lifestyle to this very day.

Further attempts at higher education. Drifting

My stint as a competitive bodybuilder started the year after high school and ended two years later when I had been out of high school for 3 years. During this time I was employed as an “operator” in a waste water treatment facility. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like! Gross. Mundane. But for a young kid, the money was really good and the hours let me do exactly what I wanted to do as far as bodybuilding and my other pursuits were concerned.

I quit this job 3 years later and decided that I wanted to go through a Vet Tech course at a local tech school / community college. I had tried several college courses before but never truly found anything I liked – but I have always really liked animals, particularly dogs, so this seemed like a logical conclusion. However the program turned out to not be what I thought it would be and I subsequently went on to try several other programs (at the same college) all with the same dismal results.

Eventually, after trying several majors and exploring several subjects, I was done with school and wound up spending several years working in restaurants. Or, as society would call it – –    D   R   I   F   T   I   N   G.

The restaurant worker life was a fairly fun place to be. At first I worked primarily at restaurants in my home town, bit eventually I went on to work in restaurants in the seacoast town of Portsmouth, NH and experienced all that goes with spending a lot of time in a tourist town. I certainly don’t regret any of it. While I did fall into SOME of the trappings of restaurant life, I never did to the extent I could have, and for that I am grateful!

Phoenix Arizona and Design School

Eventually, a great idea occurred to me. Or, at least it seemed great at the time.

Although I was having a good amount of fun working as a server in a tourist town, I had the nagging feeling that I needed to figure out what my “true career” was going to be. After all, being a server and enjoying life is looked down upon in a western society; at least it is after a certain age. I was 27 by this point and not having a “real job” and career path was taking it’s toll on me.

I think it is silently agreed upon by the vast majority of people, still, that a “real job” is one in which you are stressed out 90% of the time and take all of your anxiety home so that you can take it out on those you “love”, but I digress…

God…all the bullshit lies we are sold by the media, and then have reinforced in other aspects of society are absolutely amazing, aren’t they? And, by “amazing” I mean “disgusting“.

But, back to my good idea.

About this time I had heard the phrase “graphic design” for the first time. I honestly can’t remember how or where I heard it initially, but to me it was a relatively new term, and a KILLER idea for a job! I could actually be enthusiastic and wrap my head around this!

You see, another interest I’ve had my entire life which I haven’t mentioned so far, was drawing / sketching and just doing any kind of art work in general. Of course this was an interest that wasn’t fostered in ANY capacity whatsoever, either at home or in school. But now, here was this new term “graphic designer” and it meant someone that more or less did creative and artsy shit for a living. Seemed PERFECT to me!

So I moved to Phoenix, AZ to go to Graphic Design school. There was no real particular reason to chose Phoenix, save for the fact that I didn’t find a whole lot of places where I could train to be a graphic designer. Phoenix seemed the best option.

So there I was, in Phoenix, AZ. For 3 years. Honestly, I had a pretty decent time there. And I got myself a Bachelor’s Degree which was the most important thing of all, or so I thought. After all, I had accomplished something society deemed important so I was “allowed” to feel good for a minute. I had an official looking piece of paper! Woo hoo! And an assload of student loan debt! Woo hoo! Finally I fit in!

As a side note, not a SINGLE person that I have ever done work for has EVER asked to see my degree, nor has anyone ever asked me about my grades in school. I firmly believe thee is NOTHING that you want to learn that you absolutely MUST go to school in order to learn. Just my opinion. I think higher education and all of its costs are a HUGE crock. Anywayyy

Don’t get me wrong. Although, it may sound it, I am not bitter. I wish it were not the case but, often times you have to be IN the trap for a good long time before you’re even aware that it’s a fucking trap.

And, thank god I went through it because now, I am aware enough as a person and a father to let my daughter know that “higher education” is ok if it is something you REALLY want to do, but that being a “successful person” doesn’t require this. At all. In fact, it is more often than not…detrimental.

But again, I digress.

Back to the Northeast and stuff

My original thought when I was still in design school was that when I graduated, I was going to move to the Pacific Northwest – an area I had always wanted to check out. As it turns out, though, about the time of graduation, my mom had become very sick again, so back home to NH I went so that I would be closer to her.

It was also time to look for work, and so I began.

Eventually I got a crappy job designing and laying out ads for a local newspaper. I also taught a page layout software program to students in a local community college on a part time to basis. This was actually kind of fun.

To make a verrrry long story just a little bit shorter, I eventually got out of the world of design in all capacities for a good chunk of time. For a while I was working as a sales rep for a book and video merchandising company. A job which I liked ok and made decent money doing. Also a job which took me to my present location which is upstate NY.

Upstate NY. Wife. Kid.

The merchandising company I worked for had a territory open up in upstate NY. Being that I had just broken up with my girlfriend at the time, and really didn’t have much keeping me in NH, I decided to take it. I would still be within driving distance of my mom so I figured, “what the heck?”.

During my first year in upstate, NY, I met Julie, the woman that would eventually become my wife.

I worked for the merchandising company for a few more years but eventually got burnt out with it.

My next plan – and yes, I realize I’ve had more plans than most people have pores – was to be a freelance graphic/web designer in order to use the skillset that I still had before it began to atrophy! After all, I loved the design end of things, it was only the specific jobs I’d had which I disliked. I figured if I worked for myself, I didn’t truly have a “job” or a real “boss“. Of course this wasn’t entirely accurate, but it was accurate enough for me to enjoy this chosen path…at least most aspects of it.

For the 3 people that have made it this far, I just heard you all sigh and notice you roll your eyes!
“What on earth is next?”, you might ask. “Hasn’t he changed things up enough by now?”.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved freelance graphic and web design. In fact, I still do. Believe it or don’t, I am still involved in it (sighs of relief!).

So what’s the issue, you ask? Well, quite simply money.
Yes, yes, I know that money isn’t everything but it is A LOT if we are honest, right?

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