Unmasking The Zen Capitalist – A Real Man with Real Wisdom from Real Experiences

EntrepreneurshipWhat’s up everyone and welcome to the unmasking of The Zen Capitalist.

Most of you already know who I am since 75% of you are Facebook friends.  It’s okay because we have to start somewhere right?

Although it’s fun blogging behind a pen name, I wanted to change things up so I can be fully accountable to the words that I write. 

Anyone can hide behind a fake name and make up how awesome their life is.  This shady practice happens all too frequently.  It’s called Fake It Til You Make It.

So I have followed suit after Pat Flynn from the SmartPassiveIncome.com and decided to go fully transparent with my online shenanigans.

What Do I Have to Lose?

As it turns out, absolutely nothing.

The Zen Capitalist Story

If you read my about me page (a page I will be taking down very soon to redo) or know me in real life, you know that I went into massive debt due to poor lifestyle decisions.  The more money I made, the more I spent.  After digging a pretty hefty ditch and having debt up to my neck, I finally realized something had to give — my reckless lifestyle.

So like that, I changed it and I never looked back ever since.

Now Here’s What You Didn’t Know

What I did not tell people when I first launched this site 3 years ago was the fact that I am partially at fault for the most recent financial crisis.  I worked for Washington Mutual.  Although I wasn’t the guy that pushed the flashing red button that automatically approved loans for people that couldn’t afford them, I am guilty by association.

When Chase took over, I was one of the lucky few in California to continue my career with the new bank.  Problem was, it required me to move to a corporate building in San Antonio, Texas.  Nothing against Texas, but no thanks.  Like Tupac, I have that California Love.


Getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I just didn’t know it at the time. – Retweet if this applies to you


With the Layoff Spawned a New Calling

I was frustrated, no company wanted to hire me, and I knew I needed to keep up with my skills while I was looking for “real work”.  So I learned how to build a website and I launched this blog three years ago.  My reasons were fourfold:

1) To talk about the money & lifestyle mistakes I’ve made along the way

2) To keep all of my skills and knowledge of finance in tip top shape

3) To take action in something I have always wanted to do but never got around to doing

4) So I can talk about things that mattered to me at the time like “How to Party on a Budget” and how “Nerd is the New Black

Here’s the video I made for the launch:

In a nutshell, after 5 months I stopped blogging because something big came up (more on this below).  It was such a huge shock to my life and since only 2% of people can multitask successfully, I dropped blogging.

Unveiling The Zen Capitalist

Name: Marvin Fontanilla (@mfontanilla)

Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Occupation: Offline small business owner, wannabe online business owner, and a professional WiFi leacher

Likes: Sleeping in, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Star Wars, Star Trek, food festivals, and good company

Bio: I’m a self-funded serial entrepreneur.  I’m not rich, I don’t have a fancy car, and I don’t even own a house.

Shoot, I can’t even join a Ramit Sethi course at IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com because I have credit card debt (few more months and I’m done).

However, I do get to spend most of my days anywhere my heart desires.  I’ve created a life where I’m in full control.  That means, I make my own schedules, I get to choose my own office, and I get to do things that I love everyday.

I’m doing the whole Mark Mason thing from MasonWorld.com.  Just like Mark, I have a full-time day job and just recently began internet marketing late night.  However, on top of those gigs, I’m keeping tabs on two other big obligations which I will explain below.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

I’m going to take this blog to the next level.

As it turns out, I’m a Multipotentialite.  This was brought to my attention when I came across a ridiculously cool entrepreneur named Emilie Wapnick from Puttylike.com.  A Multipotentialite is…

“An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.” – Wiki

So I’ll continue to talk about the things that helped me get my money situation right and the life hacks that helped me get my mind straight.  On top of that, I’m going to focus a lot more on entrepreneurship.

The Reason Why I Temporarily Stopped Blogging

Yep, I stopped blogging because I opened up 2 non-franchised quick-service frozen dessert shops with friends.  And to be honest, it sucked up ALL of my time.  16 hour days, a relocation to 2 different cities, and an acute WoW addiction.

After a year and half since the stores opened, they both require little maintenance and are in many regards fully self-sufficient and passive. WooHoo!

Here’s the kicker, I operate these stores remotely.  And if you know anyone that runs a business, a remote brick & mortar operation is extremely difficult to take care of.  One store is 75 miles away from my home while the other is 168 miles away.

However, it works because of the systems we put in place.  Systems that I will write about in the future.

This is WHY You Need to Stick Around

The hardest part about creating a small business is not knowing where to start.  And once you get started, there’s a good chance you will likely get STUCK somewhere along the process.  And that’s where I come in.

Let me help you skip the problems that caused me the biggest pain when I built my businesses.

I’m going to show you EXACTLY how I built my OFFLINE quick-service small business.  I’m going to explain every step in detail – from inception, to planning, to funding, to development, to staffing, to operating, to marketing, and to passive income bliss.

I’m also going to show you EXACTLY how I’m going to build my ONLINE businesses.

I’ll be sharing my entire online journey to create niche sites – from how I learned to blog the right way, how it took less than 10 minutes to get going, how my 5-month old blog led me to the awesome job I have now, how I create content, and how I plan to make money from these sites.  All the while, I’ll track each blogs revenue and and I’ll display the cumulative income here.

I’m basically going to show you two completely different paths of entrepreneurship to create passive income.  You can travel along one path OR you can try out both.  Just allow me to show you the way.


Do you own a business or are looking to start one up? Come say hello.  Also, if you currently have an online business or niche site portfolio, do you have any tips for me?

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Marvin Fontanilla is a serial entrepreneur that blogs about escaping the daily grind to live a life worth leading. In his random musings, he touches up on lifestyle design, nerd finance, online marketing, and business creation.

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5 thoughts on “Unmasking The Zen Capitalist – A Real Man with Real Wisdom from Real Experiences

  1. Hey Brent,

    I’m actually not the Tuttimelon guy. I’m just a licensee. We have the rights to use the product. Everything else is up to us. No royalties, no corporation support, and no marketing. The business is not turnkey. You actually have to build it yourself.

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