On a warm summer day in 2002, in Charlevoix, Michigan, Richard Joseph’s bad luck began.
By August 2007, complications prevented him from working at all — possibly forever.
Joseph describes his mental state after yet another stint in rehab: “I’m moping, pretty much, and right around Christmas time I decided, you know, I’d better get my butt in gear and find something I can do from home.
So, I tried to find work as a lawyer from home, but that was right when Michigan’s economy started to go to hell, and a lot of law firms weren’t outsourcing work.” So he took to the internet, looking for "work from home" opportunities and requesting information from various websites.
In February 2008, "out of the blue," Joseph got a call from a salesman that identified himself as Ron Martino from Push Traffic, with a work from home opportunity.
"I told him what had happened to me, and he said, ‘gee... I know what you’re going through, and I will help you out.’" Martino couldn’t talk him into anything straight away, so he began calling regularly, often just to chat.
It was while this was going on that Joseph contracted MRSA, a multidrug-resistant infection he wasn’t expected to survive. Because I knew him well enough I told him what hospital I was in.
He called the hospital, got my room number, talked to me in the hospital.
I remember this really well, because I was watching CSPAN and how the economy was going, and I’m sitting in this ICU room talking to him on the phone, and he’s talking to me like a good friend.
He was being my friend." The courtship lasted around six months, and eventually Joseph agreed to purchase an e-commerce site from Push Traffic.
According to Joseph, Martino was going to set up the new website while he was in the hospital, and he guaranteed that in thirty days Joseph would be making between ,000 and ,000 a month, working from his bed for an hour a day.
Joseph hoped that, if he didn’t survive the infection, this source of income would be a lasting gift to his family.