“I’ve been thinking that I need to take a little more advantage of your mentorship and I’d like to ask you a few personal questions since I almost always learn something new when I do so.
Would you mind answering the following questions”:
His first response was….
1. I know that you were one of the first internet business owners but when you were growing up, is this what you thought you would be doing vocational? If not, what did you want to do?
I randomly bounced around when thinking about jobs while growing up like doctor, lawyer, or corporate executive. As it got closer to time to go to college, my plan was actually to go to Indiana University as a business major. But I felt a calling into ministry and changed into going to a Bible college late in my senior year of high school.I actually dropped out from college a couple of years later when I married one of the high school teachers from the school they also had, and we had issues with the administration there.As I was growing up, there wasn’t any internet. So I definitely didn’t think I’d be running a business online.In fact, being an entrepreneur was not something I ever thought about when growing up. It’s funny. I always hear these entrepreneurs talk about all their business ventures as a teenager such as mowing lawns or even a lemonade stand. Nope. I never did any of that, nor did I want to.The closest thought I had to being in business myself was my thoughts of working as an executive in corporations. But I don’t recall ever thinking even once about being in business for myself.
2. Besides the pizza delivery, what’s the most different job you’ve had from what you’re doing now and how did that job help you with what you are doing now?
Other jobs I had were delivering newspapers for the local newspaper, selling satellite dishes door-to-door, pastoring a tiny church, and signing people up for credit cards in front of Sears.Of those jobs, the best one was getting people to register for credit cards. We were paid on commission.I was quite good at it. Most of the other workers would get people to sign up one at a time. I figured out quickly that wouldn’t pay decently, so I always went after large groups.If you targeted on person in a large group and got them to stop and fill out the application, the others were now standing around not doing anything. All you had to do was entice them a little and they all signed up. So while most of the other workers were getting one or two people at a time, I averaged 4+ at once.I learned a little bit of testing there, as my goal was to get this audience (groups) to stop and fill it out.The approach that worked best was one of the cute stuff animals we gave away such as a puppy or panda stuffed animal.Target the guy holding hands with his girlfriend and wife, and say, “She really wants this. Look at her eyes. She wants this puppy. It will only take a few minutes of your time.”Smile at them and laugh a little at your own joke letting them know it’s all light hearted.Then as I said, once you get them to start filling it out, you hand out applications to everyone else and get them active as well.The job itself still sucked though. If the mall was dead, there were no people to grab. I averaged about $15 to $20 an hour while everyone else barely passed minimum wage. Because of this, they actually got angry and eliminated the commission completely.
My wife. She has supported me the entire time. When I did those horrible jobs, she was beside me. When I failed at network marketing and other business opportunities, she told me to keep trying. When I started online, she was my biggest cheerleader and helper.
In ministry, that’s a tough one as I read so many books…and they have all been inspiring in one way or another. Probably my favorite person to read about, and I have multiple books about him and his sermons, would be about John G. Lake. More than anything, it’s about not being at the mercy of circumstances. Instead, God has made us more than overcomers through Jesus no matter what situation we’re in.
My best inspiration in getting started originally online was reading products by Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert. I got the basics of what I knew about direct response from them and started applying it to the internet business.
This is a hard one to answer because you asked me what others would do to describe my ethics. That’s really tough so I’m probably only really going to answer this as work style…and what I likely think the majority of people would say about my work style.Focused – I get a ton of stuff done quickly because I focus very tightly on it. In fact, it can get me in trouble. My wife may say something to me and I simply don’t even hear it if I’m working. There is work time and family time. They are separate.Creative – A lot of people comment that I have a lot of creativity in what I do, but I personally don’t see it that way. I have a lot of experience and have read tons of books. Almost any question I’m asked or problem I’m faced with I have either experience or stories from others just like it. So it’s not really creativity. It’s knowing how reuse and reapply what’s already worked.Lazy – Weird here, but some would say that about me. Because I’m very focused when I work and the work is intense often, I actually wear out quickly. I’ve noticed my focus and my production drops when my hours get above 32 to 35 hours a week. If I consistently worked 50 hours like people say entrepreneurs should do, within a month I’d be getting less done in 50 than I did before in 30. So it’s not laziness. It’s again intensity. It’s similar to exercise. You can walk for hours, but how long can you sprint?
My greatest strength in internet business today probably is the macro viewpoint.I’ve always been good at seeing how all the pieces fit together. When I was a teenager I loved war games. I loved planning all the strategy and executing them. That’s what I do today also…I build the overall plan and see where the weaknesses are.Right now I’ve even found when having a client enter a new market, I’ll pick out the top performers in the market and reverse engineer everything they’re doing. That way we can duplicate it and improve on it. That would be tough to do if you didn’t see the full picture and how it all fits together. You’d miss major elements in the strategy.
My greatest weakness would be the day-to-day activities such as link building, participating on social media, etc. I don’t like any activity you do regularly like this. So that’s why those type of routine activities are outsourced to others. That’s the beauty here. You do what you’re good at and outsource the rest.
Fire someone who isn’t doing a good job. That’s tough for me. You hire an outsourced worker and they don’t complete what they’re asked to do or they do a poor job of it. They may need to redo it or they may need to be fired. If it was an agreed upon small project and they didn’t do a good job, I’ll often simply pay them and never contact them again. But we’re talking here about someone who is a regular vendor for you. I find it tough to get rid of them, but you have to do so. Your customers deserve the best.
You specifically asked about people I coach here. If we were talking general internet marketers, then that issue would be about expectations. Most internet marketers think they can succeed quickly and without a lot of effort, because that’s what they’ve been told by someone.But my coaching clients, even when they first come in, don’t have that misconception. The majority of my clients are either already successfully, moderately successful (making a few bucks), or they’ve struggled for a couple of years trying to do it other people’s ways. Any idea that it is “easy” is already gone from their heads when they get to me.So with my clients, probably the biggest misconception I run is the belief that free advertising is somehow better than paid advertising.Most of my clients do SEO and rank well on the search engines. This drives traffic to them and makes sales.But when I look at my most successful and consistently profitable clients with growing businesses, they always have some form of paid advertising as well.This could be PPC. It could be CPV. It could be banner advertising.But they’re doing something that amounts to paid advertising. Let me share an example people might not often think of.If you have your own products, you should have an affiliate program. That is paid advertising also although you don’t pay till you make a sale.But here is what a couple of my clients do very effectively. They search the top sites in Google for their keyword phrases, and they contact them to buy an ad. They’re looking for a solo ad to an email list or a banner ad on their site.They’re willing to pay upfront to test the ad. And this gets them business they never would have if they just went to get them in the affiliate program. Everyone sends affiliate offers, but they’re willing to put money on the line to test the advertising. If it works, they can continue buying advertising, but they’ll also talk about how the person could earn more and expand the ads by being an affiliate for them.By opening the doors to advertising you also open your doors to multiple ways to generating leads.If you just do SEO, you’re in as much danger as someone who only uses Adwords. You can lose your rankings and business overnight.If you have multiple streams of traffic and leads, then you have much greater security in your business.Start off by mastering one form of traffic, but eventually expand your marketing into multiple forms for long-term safety.
Track EVERYTHING.You need to track the traffic on your site with Analytics or another tool, but that’s just the beginning of the tracking.
- How much money did you spend last month in your business?
- How much time did you spend this week on creating content?
- How about on creating a new product?
- If you invest time in social media, are you gauging the ROI from that?
- How much time did you spend?
- What are the income results?
- What percentage of your visitors sign up to your email list?
- How much money does each email you send out earn you?
- If you believe great content emails makes you more money long-term, do you keep track of the profits from sales emails sent after your best content?And of course you need to track every penny and every minute spent on advertising your business.Keep a journal you can refer back to.This is another point I’ve found from working with clients. I’ll ask them early on what has worked for them in the past. Most of the time it’s difficult for them to remember, but I’ll pull out a couple of techniques from them that were successful which they quit doing for whatever reason.If they kept a journal of what they had been doing, they would have noticed those earlier.I often say that I became successful online by testing everything that didn’t work first.If I hadn’t been tracking it, I wouldn’t have realized when I found what was working.I can’t participate in internet marketing forums at all. They simply annoy me.A beginner will ask a question. And a whole bunch of “experts” will reply with their opinion on the matter.Opinions just get in the way. What they really need is what has been tested to work and what hasn’t.And another reason it’s so important to write all tests down is you might not know why something succeeded or failed at first. Maybe it was an additional factor you didn’t consider, but once you see a trend you’ll know this is what is working for you.For example, I’ve developed methods of reviewing websites over time. Thousands of people have had me reviews their sites as one-on-one coaching clients, group classes, review certificates, conferences, etc.For the first couple of years of reviewing sites I didn’t really have any guidelines to go by. I knew you needed to grab attention and make a great offer. But over experience of seeing all these sites and watching the performance of my own clients I’m very confident in my ability to improve a site’s conversion now.I know what to look for on the site because I’ve seen so many sites succeed and so many fail.Look at your internet business as a scientific process. Each new ad is a test. Record the results. Break the code for your business and market.And grow your profits.Wow I need to write an article on that last question! lol