Who is Ian Balina?

The Made Man


Ian Balina has 10+ years in software development, web, and mobile applications. He is the founder of Peer Hustle, a mobile on-demand freelance jobs marketplace, as well as a tech evangelist for IBM’s North American Open Source and Hybrid Cloud business. Ian holds a Masters in Computer Engineering from The George Washington University and spoke alongside Michelle Obama during his graduation.

Ian authored The Complete Freelancer Guide, a book that encourages others how to start a freelancing business. He founded Fusion Video Producers, a video production company that’s worked with Nancy Pelosi and NFL star Pierre Garcon. He is known for his ability to “hack the system” and create multiple streams of income through investing in cryptocurrencies, turning hobbies into freelance businesses, short-term real estate rentals and creating private label brands that sell items on Amazon.

My Story

I’m only 28 years old, but I have been making six figures for the last four years of my life. I went from being a broke graduate student, that ordered on the dollar menu at McDonald’s, to now being able to go to most restaurants and order anything I want, without even asking for the price.

Making six figures makes you have a comfortable lifestyle. It also has allowed me to help out my family and sometimes even friends.

When you’re making a lot of money, you become comfortable helping out others financially.

At 28 years old, I have quickly built a six figure lifestyle, uncommon to most millennials. I have been consistently making over $100,000 in my 20s, made over $200,000 last year and I am on pace to make $400,000 this year. I have had the opportunity to travel to beautiful places like Brazil, Japan, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Peru and others, all while working from home, and working less than 40 hours a week. My success hasn’t been an accident, every step of the way is being hacked and put together by me.

Somewhere along the way, my friends and fellow Millennials wanted me to share my tips on how I have been able to build this six figure career and lifestyle. This blog is the brain dumps of every single hack I know, and a place for me to document the process while inspiring others.

Ian’s Day Job

Ian Balina at IBM Head Quarters
Ian Balina at IBM Head Quarters

By day, I work in Enterprise Sales at IBM–the second largest company in the world, where I help drive revenues in the millions of dollars per year. I have been recognized as one of IBM’s top employees by being a member of the IBM Hundred Percent Club, due to achieving more than 100% of my million dollar sales quota. Outside of my day job, I have numerous side hustles to make extra money on the side.

Ian’s Side Hustles

My main side hustle at the moment is investing in cryptocurrencies. I got involved in cryptocurrencies when a friend of mine told me he was starting a cryptocurrency hedge fund. He told me he was earned 200% returns on his money, and I was sold.

I had heard of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but I had no idea people were using them as investment vehicles to earn more money. I slowly tested the waters by buying some bitcoin and ether.  After three months or so of great returns, I fully committed to investing in cryptos.

I am on a quest to make my first million investing in cryptocurrencies, and I transparently share my ups and downs on the path to my goal, via my Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube profiles.

My second side hustle is Peer Hustle, a mobile on-demand freelancer marketplace for the sharing economy often called the “Uber for Freelancers,” that currently has over 4,000 freelancers around the world. While working on Peer Hustle, I co-wrote the book, The Complete Freelancer Guidewhich is available on Amazon, bookstores, and libraries around the world.

I also founded Fusion Video Producers, a video production company that worked with notable figures such as NFL wide receiver, Pierre Garcon, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Running this as a side-hustle, I was able to generate up to $7,000 a month on the side as a freelance videographer. Fusion Video released its first film, DC Fashion Week: The Documentary available on Amazon Video. I have now closed Fusion Video to focus on this site, as it is my new side hustle. My other side hustles include selling on Amazon, which generates profits of $2,000 a month on the side, and short-term real estate rentals, which brought me $27,000 in 2016 on the side.

Ian’s Career Path

I come from a family of six, with two brothers and a sister, and loving parents, who motivate me and provide me with unconditional love and support. I was born in Kampala, Uganda, and immigrated to the United States with my family, when I was eight years old. Shortly after, I moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland, where I attended middle school, high school and would go on to attend The George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. on a merit scholarship. I would graduate GWU with a Bachelors and Masters in Computer Engineering, and won an audition to be one of my school’s graduation speakers, and speak alongside Michelle Obama.

Ian with Michelle Obama
Ian with Michelle Obama

While at GWU, I got the entrepreneur bug and founded my first startup, Leximo, the world’s first social dictionary. After working on Leximo, I went on to work as an independent software developer, then as an IT consultant for Deloitte, the world’s largest consulting firm. Subsequently, I joined IBM as a Tech Evangelist, where I still currently work, now in a sales roles helping evangelize and sell the IBM Cloud and Big Data Analytics Portfolio in North America.

Ian’s Hobbies

My hobbies outside of entrepreneurship, are making videos, writing, traveling, and basketball. I am currently writing a book, that shares the ups and downs, that I have had to navigate as a young Black male striving for success. I have always been a lover of different cultures, and Social Studies was my best subject in school. I travel all over the world and document the journey with photos, videos, and blogging. A lover of sports, my goal is to one day become an owner of an NBA team, and revel in my passion for basketball.

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