The Quest for Understanding, the Ultimate Internet Marketing Opportunity, and a Really Good Corned Beef Sandwich!
February 7, 2009 by admin
Filed under Affiliate Marketing, Attraction Marketing, Email marketing, Giveaway Riches, Internet Marketing, Listbuilding, MLM vs CarbonCopyPro, Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), Network Marketing, Online business, Small Business, Social Networking
The Search Continues for the Ultimate Internet Marketing Opportunity
A little perspective:
The View from the Cheap Seats!
I was going to Zig today, had it all mapped out, but after the experiences of last night and early this morning, I decided to Zag!
Well, I’m sitting here with Counting Crows blasting in my ears, the music taking me back to my closet/office/bedroom during my second year of graduate work. It’s 1993. On my own and loving it, on my own and hating it. I was pursuing my ultimate goal, a doctorate in physical anthropology. Internet? Yes, I’d heard about it, even used it a bit. Online businesses? Internet marketing opportunities? No way! Professor Z! Yeah, that’s the ticket!
Bones, forensics, gross anatomy, skeletons, fossils, Lucy, Africa…all that neat stuff!
Fossils, Skeletons, and Bones…Oh my!
But let’s turn back the clock another 30 years or so, OK?
I grew up in a suburb on the west side of Cleveland, let’s call it West-Cleveland Suburbia Town. Say I grew up there? Well, that’s a bit of stretch. Not too many men grow up until they’re about thirty-five or so. I read that somewhere and, for the most part, I agree with it. I was the average kid, into everything and sure of the possibilities before me. I was immune, immortal, and impossible!
In other words, I was a “skinny little kid from Cleveland, Ohio!” (Google: Alex Bevan)
Childhood highlights? All the usual stuff and some not-so usual. Eagle Scout, class president, student council, football, track, wrestling, All-Ohio Boys band, first chair in the Symphonic Band, Top Teen for all the West and East-Cleveland Suburbia Towns, worked out with the soccer and cross country teams to get in shape for the sport of the Gods in 1970s West-Cleveland Suburbia Town, and a ton of other super, clean cut young man type activities.
Oh? You need to ask? Football. American football! That was the Sport of The God’s back then…back there. Wherever back-then…back-there was. I’m no longer sure. But one thing’s is for sure, I was shooting for that God thing! Yeah, that’s was a career I could see myself growing into! Of course, I didn’t know anything about that whole Internet marketing thing. No, not yet!
Why was I so involved? I guess it’s because by being into everything I didn’t have to feel anything! Think, feel or face the ultimate reality.
The Ultimate Reality?
Oh yeah! That West-Cleveland Suburbia Town wasn’t there…and neither was I. Not in the way I envisioned my reality, anyway. Not in the way many, to this very day, envision it. Not by a long shot!
Anyway, it’s late 1971 and I’m without a high school diploma. Having completed two and a half years of high school, I got my first lesson in reality. The lesson? After being accepted to a few of the finer universities in the land and on the waiting lists of a couple of others, my world came to a screeching halt. You see, things weren’t what they appeared to be at home, definitely not! But in West_Cleveland Suburbia Town things were all about appearances. You know the place, don’t you? Everyone does!
But my reality? Yes, I knew I had my reality to fall back on. Didn’t I?
I was to find out just how different my reality was from that of my parents when I started narrowing down where I would spend the next four years of my life! That would be the four years just prior to my entering the real world and conquering it, of course!
Unfortunately for Genghis J, West-Cleveland Suburbia Town was an illusion.
Reality to follow!
Enter US Army Master Sergeant “Three-up, Three-down” Timothy Borovich and the solution to my problems! Now I knew what I’d do, I’d get the GI Bill and go to college on my own. Heck Yeah! Piece of cake! The heck with West-Cleveland Suburbia Town and the heck with my parents! The heck with everyone! After all, I had been betrayed by all of them, hadn’t I? I’d show them!
You see, I was also into exclamation points in a big way back then. Still am! Ha!!
Well, next thing I know it’s 1973 and I’m a guest of the US Army’s Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, Pa. It seems I’d been there for a while before I realized that VFGH was my new reality! Of course there was another reality, a newer reality I need to face and I was refusing to even consider it.
The newer reality?
I might never walk again. Try that in your pipe at 18-19 years of age. Once again, reality. Reality being what it was, at least to my way of thinking, and what it mean to me, didn’t have much of an impact. So, when Dr. B. Gilligan, my orthopedic surgeon, told me I’d never walk again! Hah! Fooled him!
Within three months, about the time the POWs were coming home to a special ward at the hospital, I had given up wheel chair races in the halls, some great halls for wheel chair races by the way, for a walker. Another month and walker to cane, cane to bipedal locomotion and, inside of yet another month, home!
Fast forward and it’s 1993!
So much happened between 1973 and 1993 but for the purposes of this blog, I’ve revealed enough about the early years!
So, it’s 1993 and I’ve become a successful businessman, husband, father, son, brother, friend, tutor, athletic training specialist, you name it! However, after a series of health setbacks, and many more service connected surgeries, I put things aside and went back to school…for me. I continued to tutor and train a select group but only on a limited basis and only when I could fit them in. After five years of school, every client stayed with me. Through everything, they all stuck! It goes without saying, I felt extremely lucky, blessed in fact!
I look back today and wonder how things went from where they were then, 1995, to were I am now. I still don’t understand it all.
It seems that somewhere along the way, during one of the many surgeries on my spine, I took home an especially ornery, drug-resistant strain of staph, (Staphylococcus aureus). It has a longer name but for our purposes here, I won’t bore you.
They didn’t find the infection for seven years! I am amazed and grateful to be alive today. The doctors who have treated me are just as amazed. Once discovered, they found the infection had invaded the spine (osteomyelitis) and a great deal of the surrounding tissue. To defeat the “bug” it took several more surgeries and hospitalizations over several more years. Ultimately, the team at University Hospitals save my life! Had it not been for Drs. Henry Bohlman and Sanford Emery, I would not be here today! Without being overly dramatic, they saved my life! No question about it!
Weakened by what the infection did to my body, I deal with a myriad of health consequences. I’ve had to fight congestive heart failure, a pulmonary embolism, weakened teeth and bones, insulin dependent diabetes, and a profound depression. All of these issues were a direct result of a fourteen year battle for life, mine! Many of the problems inherited during this period follow me to this day. I had to stop training, tutoring, and even reading! I couldn’t focus on anything for more than a few minutes and I couldn’t make a commitment to be somewhere for someone because I would end up in bed for days, the hospital or simply unable to move. I felt like I had failed everyone, at everything.
My life consisted of laying in a recliner 24 hours a day, watching Law and Order re-runs (I couldn’t read), and taking my next medication dosage…whatever that was. We came within hours of being homeless, having to sell almost everything we owned, cashed in everything we had saved, and still we struggled month in and month out just to pay the utilities and buy food. The last week of the month, just before the VA disability hits, has been especially brutal!
What happened? What got me going again?
Well, I’d love to tell you I bought so-and-so’s Internet marketing course with my last dollar and everyone lived happily ever after! I’d like to tell you that but I can’t. Not yet anyway!
Well, as I said, things got pretty bad and I was to the point where I began to think I was worth more in insurance money than walking around. Yes! I had those thoughts. I want to tell you, it is the blackest place you can ever hope never to be anywhere near! I was fighting for my life all over again and the enemy was one I couldn’t understand and didn’t know how to fight. Nothing, I mean nothing at all helped! I was as close to Hell on Earth as anyone should ever have to be and felt if things didn’t improve soon….
Well, I just didn’t know.
Finally, after months of battling and fighting, I was able to get off of the pain medication, lose a few pounds, and begin to read a little here and there. In short, I began to feel human again. I was not out of the woods but I thought I could see a clearing up ahead. The end just might be in sight, I thought.
So there I was, feeling like I might just pull through all of this and get my life back. I even felt well enough to apply for a job. I was sick of living, existing, from month to month, I wanted to be able to provide for my family again. After all, I was making a good living prior to my health going all to heck and I knew I woud be able to step in and step up, doing it all again. And then?
Remember reality? Well, my reality certainly wasn’t the reality of the people I was interviewing with, that’s for sure! Day after day I climbed on the Internet and applied for work. At first I applied for employment I knew I was qualified for, things like management, marketing, sales, fitness training, tutoring, and the like. I had trained and tutored for years but I didn’t think I wanted to work for myself again. I just wanted to go to work and come home, I was still a biit whipped, to be honest. I went on interview after interview but to no avail. It seemed no one wanted an overqualified, 50 something male with a huge gap in his employment record!
Education: so what!
Business owner: Uh huh!
Hard worker: Heard it before!
Take anything: Don’t grovel!
More disappointment and failure in the future!
Or at least that’s what it seemed like. Everyday I sent out applications and everyday I interviewed and every day I felt more and more humiliated. It got to the point where I couldn’t even look at my wife and children in the eyes. Finally, after weeks, I was offered a job working two days a week at a BP gas station! Can you imagine? Eagle Scout, disabled US Army veteran, doctoral fellow, business owner, national marketing and sales award winner for two Fortune 100 companies, top five in sales nationally with two more companies, tutor, assistant professor, trainer of some of the finest athletes in the country and I was offered two days at BP!
But that wasn’t the worst of it, not yet!
After accepting the BP job and going through the whole background check, at least I knew my background check was OK(!), I was set to start. Yes, I was almost there! And, I was almost lost!
THE FINAL REALITY!
On my way home from Staples, I use Staples because their rewards program actually saves me some money, I saw a sign in a window of a little pizza place. Now, I knew I was only going to get two days with BP and I knew that wasn’t going to come close to helping us get out of the terrible hole my family was in, so I went inside. Now, picture this: A guy in a dirty t-shirt, weighing a couple hundred pounds more than he should, wiping his hands on his apron, an apron that hadn’t seen water and laundry soap in years, gave me an application…and I took it! I filled it out and left. I went home with tears in my eyes because, as they say in 12 step programs, I had hit bottom. I knew at that moment if I took either of those jobs I was lost forever!
Lost and unable to get back, of that I was certain.
I drove home and got on the computer, right where I am sitting now. My wife took one look at me and asked what was wrong.
She asked, “What’s the matter?”
I almost lost it, almost gave in to 14 years of grief and depression and frustration and humiliation! At that moment I started hyperventilating, my chest was pounding, I was hearing my heart in my head and ears, and everything got gray. I thought I was having heart attack! I sat and waited for whatever was to come next. I waited for what seemed an eternity and then everything cleared. In that moment I knew what I had to do!
Cue the theme from the movie Rocky!
I logged on to Yahoo and spent my last $50 setting up a web hosting account. Hey! What did I know? I spent the rest of the night building my website. Also the wrong kind. But I was doing something, anything. I was beginning to take control. Finally, with what little money I had left for our electric bill, I purchased a couple of ads from Yahoo…and strike three! With all that going against me, it should have failed.
At first, nothing, and I mean nothing! Not an email, not a phone call, nothing. What had I done wrong? Was I going to fail yet again? I just didn’t know and, because it was literally my last shot, my last gasp if you will, I left it alone and waited.
A funny thing happened on the way to failure!
I got a client! And I mean a pretty big one. That paid for the electric bill, food, and the ads! Then, another client. By the end of the month I had six clients and inside of 60 days I had a few more and as much business as I knew what to do with on my own! Keep in mind, I have been tutoring and training athletes for 30 years but never in a online business sort of format, nothing even close. The marketing has always been word of mouth, nothing like the Internet marketing of today! But I started to learn and I started to apply what I’d learned. The money wasn’t super, just breaking even with costs (ads, hosting, supplies, automobile upkeep, etc), and we were so far under that just getting to even was probably take a couple years, if not longer.
But it was a beginning…and that was good!
Reality Meets Solution!
As it became apparent that some things would never be quite the same, health-wise or business-wise, I started to explore, read, listen, and apply the lessons of the masters, those who have done it! I studied the men and women who had carved their niche in the field and subfields of Internet marketing. If you look for it, there is an incredible amount of free information out there for the novice, the “newbie.”
I’ve listened to and read the work of Perry Marshall, an expert in Google AdWords and a number of other topics; Meredith Smith on return on investment (ROI) and advertsing, “beating” AdWords; Mark Widawer’s work on landing pages is the some of the best I’ve discovered; Ari Galper and Paul Galloway on Internet communications and website development; Ferny Ceballos and Ray Fong on SEO and attraction marketing; Jason James for his promotional savvy and insight, Jason is the master of the promotional GiveAway; and Mike Dillard MLM, Magnetic Sponsorship, and social media marketing, and on and on!
THE MASTERS OF MOTIVATION: The Dynamic Duo!
My personal favorite is Tony Robbins. Tony is this generations Napoleon Hill, J. Douglas Edwards, and Zig Ziglar rolled in to one. He is the best in his chosen profession, recognized around the world for his message and his philanthropy! Tony is a master, a true guru hands down! Tony Robbins is the embodiment of the self-made man. Tony not only talks the talk, he has shown over the years that he walks the walk! I have listened to Tony’s videos and audios for years. I have followed his advice when I’ve been at my absolute lowest and I have listened to Tony when I am up, jazzed, and ready to work! Tony Robbins gives back in ways that few people are aware of, he seems to prefer it that way. When Tony talks about something he’s done for someone it never seems to be to toot his own horn, he invariably has a message he wishes to convey. Tony always seems to have a lesson, a message that can be gleaned from what he chooses to reveal about himself. He is not only a powerful motivator, he is a good man. I am a client of Tony’s, his products are first-rate and his message translates well regardless of the arena or milieu!
Brian Tracy is nothing short of a motivational genius, his body of work absolutely awesome! Brian Tracy is an Internet marketing genius to boot. The time spent just on the items he makes available for little or no cost through his website will keep a reader busy 24/7 for months! Brian Tracy has quietly gone about building a reputation as a motivational speaker and self-improvement giant. I always learn from his material, it is timely and, like Tony Robbin’s work, translates well across lines into virtually any personal and/or business endeavor.
THE YOUNG TURKS!
I will be devoting the next session to the men listed below but I felt it only fair to mention them here. These men are the best at what they do. In my opinion and after months of research, these individuals are at the pinnacle of the Internet marketing profession and should be recognized as such! Not only are these men the best in their chosen field, they remain accessible to their clients, something others not mentioned here have failed to demonstrate. Furthermore, these individuals attempt to give back by pushing their clients up! Realizing that their students’ success is their success, they remain in touch with “their people.” There are more than a few self-styled “gurus” out there who are sorely lacking in the most basic of people skills, that of keeping in touch with those who are responsible for their livelihood.
The old adage, “You meet the same people on the way down that you met on the way up!” would seem to apply or, at the very least, should be heeded here! At least by those who seem to fall short in this area.
Here they are, The Young Turks:
Wow, this took a lot longer than I thought it would!
Please keep in mind one thing, the only reason I told you this story is so you can see we are from a similar place. I am not a self-promoting so-and-so and I am not blogging solely for profit. Nothing sickens me more than one of those supposed review websites. You know the ones I am talking about, they’re the ones that are “going to give it to you straight” and “warn you about the scams.”
Yeah right! I got off that boat too! Talk about insulting someone’s intelligence. Oh well, they sure do keep us on our toes, don’t they?
So, if you think I’ve missed someone or you’d like to add something, please feel free to comment. I will be adding a sign-in block so you can get my newsletter and a cool surprise gift. In the newsletter I will reveal much more about the various programs out there, including which ones to avoid like the plague, guru owned or not!
Until next time!
Oh yeah! Next time, in addition to The Young Turks, I will tell you how I spent that last dollar! It’s a fact and you can turn a buck into profit too!
See You in the Cheap Seats!